James ESTEP James A JACKSON George Washington JACKSON Sylvester NORRIS Mary E NORRIS James Franklin NORRIS Charles Monroe NORRIS William Robert NORRIS Abraham Newton NORRIS Rhoda Martha NORRIS Nellie B NORRIS Abigail TETER Mini tree diagram

Rebecca Arminda ESTEP10,3,4,5,6,11,7,12,8,13

19th May 18293,4,5,1,6,7,8,9 - 16th Jan 19161,2,8,9

Life History

19th May 1829

Born in Sangamon County, Illinois.3,4,5,1,6,7,8,9

29th Jun 1847

Married James A JACKSON in McDonough County, Illinois.10

4th May 1848

Birth of son George Washington JACKSON in Illinois.15,14,16,17,18,19,20,13

19th Jul 1849

Married Sylvester NORRIS in Mason County, Illinois.11,13,26

Feb 1850

Death of James A JACKSON in Hancock County, Illinois.11,21

about Apr 1850

Birth of daughter Mary E NORRIS in Mason County, Illinois

26th Apr 1852

Birth of son James Franklin NORRIS in Mason County, Illinois.6,4,12,22,23

1st Jun 1855

Birth of son Charles Monroe NORRIS in Mason County, Illinois.6,12,24,4

14th Feb 1859

Birth of son William Robert NORRIS in Mason County, Illinois.12,6

26th Jan 1861

Birth of son Abraham Newton NORRIS in Mason County, Illinois.12,25

3rd Apr 1865

Birth of child Rhoda Martha NORRIS in Mason County, Illinois.4,12

21st Nov 1867

Birth of daughter Nellie B NORRIS in Mason County, Illinois.4,5,7,12,3

25th Jan 1887

Death of Sylvester NORRIS in Scammon, Cherokee, Kansas.2,12

12th Apr 1898

Death of son George Washington JACKSON.14

16th Jan 1916

Died in Cherokee County, Kansas.1,2,8,9

after 16th Jan 1916

Buried in Cherokee County, Kansas.1,2


  • Some genealogies give us some helpful but incomplete information about Rebecca Arminda.  There is some confusion about her maiden name among the sources, with some reporting her as Jackson, some as Baird and some as Estep.  Family information on the Estep family helps some, explaining that Rebecca is the daughter of James Estep and his wife Abigail Teter.  She is reported in that information, however, as Rebekah Arminda Jackson Norris, with no further explanation.
    --  http://thomasestep.homestead.com/S31.html

    Another source with some spotty and somewhat confused information, but some very helpful details, mentions cryptically that her maiden name was actually Baird, and she was raised by an Estep.  It reports that "Arminda was raised by Estep, Married to George Jackson first."  It is not mentioned whether they adopted her or only raised her as a foster child.
    --  http://awtc.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=*v59t1688&id=I111

    According to land records, there were Baird families living in several Illinois counties at the time of Arminda's birth and childhood.  The Baird story has been debunked definitively.  Evlyn Broumly, genealogist and newspaper columnist in Weatherford, Texas, is one of my partners in researching the Jackson and related families in Texas.  Along with other good details, in an email to another Jackson cousin, Evlyn gives us some details of where this Baird story got started.  I have highlighted the pertinent phrase in her message below.

    From: Evlyn Broumley <evlynbroumprodigy.net>
    Date: Thu, 15 Apr 2010 14:23:56 -0700 (PDT)
    Subject: Cohron-teter, etc.
    To: wanda cox <wandaanddalegmail.com>

    I don't know anything about the Cohron=Teter couple in Throckmorton County.

    Sylvester Norris's 2nd wife was Rebecca Arminda Estep Jackson Norris.  *** She was not married to a Baird nor a Baird adopted by the Esteps.  This info was spread by a lady in the 1970s who also listed Sylvester's dad as James Henry Norris! ***  Dr. Hanson stated that Rebecca was definitely a dau. of James & Abigail Teter Estep who were his great grandparents, Christina Teter and Jesse Baker were also another set of his great grandparents.

    Abigail and Christina were both sisters of Isaac Teter.  Dr. Hanson had the family bibles, family stories, and knew some of the descendants of most of the Esteps.  He did not have a Norris ancestor, but with the  intermarriages between the families he had quite a bit of research that included Norris info which he shared, in the 1970s.

    I don't know of any Griffith in the Estep family, my family came from Tenn. to Indiana to Missouri to Texas.  I reverse the given names of Rebecca's lst husband and their son, checked an old FGS for the Esteps.  In rereading Dr. Hanson's letters and some from other researchers, there was quite a few people from Mason County to Parker County area, but many went back north.
    --  Evlyn Broumley, email to Wanda Cox, 15 April 2010

    The family name Estep is also found spelled Eastep.  One source on the history of Illinois comments on an instance of James Estep's dealings:
    "[1] ADS, owned by Mrs. Dillard Estep Samuel, Chicago, Illinois. The document is entirely in Lincoln's hand, including the signature of James Eastep, who was a farmer and operator of a 'horse mill' near the location of the present town of Petersburg. His wife was Abigail Teter, daughter of the Abraham Teter named in the document."
    --  http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=lincoln;cc=lincoln;rgn=div1;view=text;idno=lincoln1;node=lincoln1%3A5

    In the 1870 census, living next door to Arminda and her husband Sylvester Norris we find a 22-year-old George Jackson, who could be her son from this earlier marriage to George Jackson.  there are other Jacksons around, but family relationships are unclear.

    Shortly after reviewing the information from the sources mentioned above, I found the marriage record for Arminda to her first husband, indeed a Jackson, but his name was James, not George.  This helps work out the helpful but confusing note in the terse genealogy info about the Jackson connection.  George, then, would work out to be the name of their son, and would likely be the young George Jackson in the house next door to Arminda and Sylvester in 1870.

    Illinois Marriages to 1850
    Spouse 1: Estep, Rebecca Arminda
    Spouse 2: Jackson, James A.
    Marriage Date: 29 Jun 1847
    Marriage Location: McDonough County, Illinois
    --  http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=1&db=eamil%2c&rank=1&pgt=punt&=%2c%2c%2c%2c%2c%2c%2c%2c%2c%2c%2c%2c%2c%2c%2c%2c%2c%2c%2c&gsfn=Rebecca+Arminda&gsln=Jackson&gsby=1828&gsb2co=2%2cUSA&gsb2pl=16%2cIllinois&gsdy=Unknown&gsd2co=1%2cAll+Countries&gsd2pl=1%2c+&sbo=0&sbor=&ufr=0&wp=4%3b_80000002%3b_80000003&srchb=r&prox=1&ti=0&ti.si=0&ftm=1&gss=angs-d&pcat=34&fh=0&recid=41687&recoff=1+2+4+6+18+19+34+36+48+49+51+53

    Note that this does report her maiden name as Estep.  If the info about the Baird birth and Estep raising is correct, this would seem to indicate that she was adopted, and that Estep became her legal surname before marriage.

    With the information available so far, it seems we can say that Rebecca Arminda was the child of as yet unidentified Bairds.  She was raised as a foster or adopted child by James and Abigail (Teter) Estep, first married a James A Jackson, and after widowed, married the widower Sylvester Norris in 1846.  See information on her family with Sylvester in Notes for Sylvester Norris.

    Rebecca Arminda and James Jackson had one child, George W.  He appears in1850 in the Norris household, though with the name Norris.  But the age and the later report of George W Jackson in 1870 matches the time of their marriage.  He was born in 1847, apparently after April, based on the ages in 1850 and 1870.  Arminda did not marry Sylvester until 1849.  Genealogies reporting the marriage of Sylvester to Mary Teter report no child named George.

    1850 Federal Census, Mason County, Illinois, 5 November, page 335/170, Hse/Fam #370
    Sylvester Norris 31 M Farmer born Kentucky cannot read or write
    Rebecca A Norris 22 F born Illinois cannot read or write
    Henry N Norris 5 M born Illinois
    George W (Jackson] Norris 3 M born Illinois
    Mary E Norris 6 months born Illinois (b abt April 1850]

    After both their spouses died, Arminda Baird Estep Jackson married Sylvester Norris in 1849.

    The Illinois Marriage Index, 1790-1860,  records the marriage of Sylvester Norris to Spouse Rebecca A. Jackson, Married 19 Jul 1849, Mason County, Illinois
    --  Family History Library, Salt Lake City, UT, Microfilm 1313033, electronic: http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=1&db=eamil%2c&rank=1&pgt=punt&=%2c%2c%2c%2c%2c%2c%2c%2c%2c%2c%2c%2c%2c%2c%2c%2c%2c%2c%2c&gsfn=Rebecca+Arminda&gsln=Jackson&gsby=1828&gsb2co=2%2cUSA&gsb2pl=16%2cIllinois&gsdy=Unknown&gsd2co=1%2cAll+Countries&gsd2pl=1%2c+&sbo=0&sbor=&ufr=0&wp=4%3b_80000002%3b_80000003&srchb=r&prox=1&ti=0&ti.si=0&ftm=1&gss=angs-d&pcat=34&fh=1&recid=40935&recoff=1+2+4+16+17+18+45+46+47

    The census reports on Arminda with her husband Sylvester are reported under the Notes for Sylvester.  Family sources tell us Sylvester died in Cherokee County, Kansas in 1887.  Two later censuses give us information on Arminda, who was enumerated up through the 1900 census.  I have not found a death record, but some genealogies report her death in 1916.

    I am including the 1880 census here also because it introduces some interesting information about Arminda.

    1880 Federal Census, Mason County, Illinois, 9 June, Cane Creek Township, District 131, page 7, Hse #47, Fam #48
    Norris, Sylvester  W M  61   Farmer  Kentucky Kentucky Kentucky [b abt 1819]
    Norris, Rebecca A  W F  51 Wife Keeping House Illinois NC VA [b abt 1829]
    Norris, Charles M  W M 24 Son  Widowed  Farm Laborer Illinois Kentucky Illinois [b abt 1856]
    Norris, Rhoda M  W F 15 Dau  At Home Illinois Kentucky Illinois [b abt 1865]
    Norris, Nellie B  W F 12 At Home Illinois Kentucky Illinois [b abt 1868]
    Norris, Arthur S  W M 1 Grandson Farm Laborer Illinois Illinois Ohio [b abt 1859] (Charles' son)

    The 1880 census record for Arminda reports her parents born in North Carolina and Virginia.  I also found that on the same page there are two Estep families enumerated.  The men are of an age to be the (foster-adoptive) brothers of Arminda:  G W Estep age 56 born Illinois, parents NC-VA and J M Estep 60 also Illinois North Carolina and Virginia.  It is interesting that the birth states of Arminda's parents are the same as those of these two apparent adoptive brothers.  This probably means she reported on her adoptive parents, rather than her birth parents.  See the notes below on the 1900 census, where we see a change.

    Arminda and Sylvester moved to Kansas between 1880 and 1885.  In 1885 they were recorded in the Kansas state census with their daughter Nellie.

    1885 Kansas State Census, Crawford County, 1 March, Pittsburg, page 70 (205), Hse/Fam #543
    Sylvester Norris 66 M W Laborer b Kentucky, moved to Kansas from Illinois [b abt 1819]
    Arminda Norris 56 F W b Illinois, moved to Kansas from Illinois [b abt 1829]
    -- page 71 (208) --
    Nellie Norris 17 F W b Illinois, moved to Kansas from Illinois [b abt 1868]

    A genealogy gives us details about Sylvester Norris and his family.  In this and other family sources we learn that Sylvester died in 1887 in Scammon, Cherokee County, Kansas.  I found Arminda in the 1900 census, as a widow living in the home of her daughter Nellie, who has married Ivan Mills.  They are living in Osage County, Kansas.

    1900 Federal Census, Osage County, Kansas, 20 June, Agency Township, District 110, page 10-11B, Hse #275, Fam #277
    Mills, Ivan  Head  W M  Dec 1860  39  Married 13 years Indiana Ohio Ohio  Farmer Owns
    --  page 11B --
    Mills, Nellie Wife W F Nov 1867  32 Married 13 years  6 children/5 living  Illinois Kentucky Illinois
    Mills, Glover  Son W M Feb 1888  12  Kansas Indiana Illinois At School
    Mills, Orval  Son W M Sept 1893  6  Kansas Indiana Illinois At School
    Mills, Harold  Son W M Nov 1895  5  Kansas Indiana Illinois
    Mills, Myrtle  Dau W M Apr 1897  3  Kansas Indiana Illinois
    Mills, Frank  Son W M Nov 1899  7mos  Kansas Indiana Illinois
    Norris, Araminta  Mother [of Nellie] W F  May 1829  71 Wife Keeping House Illinois TN TN

    Here we see that Arminda's parents are reported as both born in Tennessee, not North Carolina and Virginia.  We noted above that in 1880, the birth sates of her parents match those of the two Estep men found nearby.  This may indicate she reported her adoptive parents' birth states in 1880, rather than her birth parents.  In 1900 perhaps the change indicates that both her Baird birth parents were both born in Tennessee.

    In 1910 she is back in Illinois, in the household of her brother William Jackson Estep.

    1910 Federal Census, Mason County, Illinois, 19 April, Mason City, District 72, page 3B, Main St, Hse/Fam #71
    Estep, W J  Head  M W 79  Married [? No wife recorded] Illinois NC VA  Own Income, Owns Home
    Norris, Rebecca Arminda  Sister F W 80 Widow Borne 7 children/3 living Illinois NC VA
    Teten [Teter?], Abagail  Servant F W 46 Widow 2 children/2 living Missouri Illinois Illinois

    The head of the household here is Arminda's brother William Jackson Estep, who genealogies tell us was born 4 January 1831 in Menard County, Illinois.  The birth states of her parents again matches that of her Estep brother.  Note that this report indicates that of all 7 of Arminda's children, only 3 are still living.  Though the name of the third person here looks like Teten, the Abagail is likely a widow of one of their Teter relatives.

    Genealogies report her death as occurring 16 January 1916 in Cherokee County, Kansas.  This is a bit odd, since
    (1) this is the first location where we find her and Sylvester after they moved to Kansas
    (2) the last location in Kansas where we saw her was in Osage County with her daughter Nellie and finally
    (3) in 1910 she is back in her home area of Mason County, Illinois, with her brother.
    This is the last record of her redsidence before we have a report of her death in Cherokee County, Kansas.  Arminda is last known to be living with her brother.

    Arminda is buried next to her husband Sylvester Norris in Cherokee County, Kansas.  Two genealogies definitely report that she died in Cherokee County, Kansas.  This matches with the burial information.

    Rebecka Arminda Estep
    b 19 May 1829 Sangamon County, Illinois
    d 16 Jan 1916 Cherokee County, Kansas
    --  Ancestry Trees, Engelken, http://trees.ancestry.com/pt/person.aspx?tid=5453781&pid=-1451661922

    Rebecca Arminda Baird Estep
    Birth 19 May 1829 in Sangamon, Illinois
    Death 16 Jan 1916 in Cherokee, Cherokee, Kansas
    Parents James Estep 1795-1857, Abigail Teter 1794-1855
    Marriage 1847 in Mason City, Mason, Illinois, to George Jackson [should be James, which the tree actually has; George is their son]
    Marriage 19 Jul 1849 Mason, Illinois, to Sylvester Norris
    --  Stracener Family, http://trees.ancestry.com/tree/15347399/person/269912252


  • 1. Ancestry Trees
  • 2. Find a Grave Memorial Registry
  • 3. 1900 Federal Census, Osage County, Kansas
    • 20 June, Agency Township, District 110, page 10-11B, Hse #275, Fam #277
  • 4. 1870 Federal Census, Mason County, Illinois
    • [no date], Cane Creek Township, PO Mason City, page 16, Hse #103, Fam #100
  • 5. 1880 Federal Census, Mason County, Illinois
    • 9 June, Cane Creek Township, page 7, Hse #47, Fam #48
  • 6. 1860 Federal Census, Mason County, Illinois
    • 11 September, Township 20 Range 7, PO Walkers Grove, page 205, Hse/Fam #1420
  • 7. 1885 Kansas State Census, Crawford County
    • 1 March, Pittsburg, page 70 (205), Hse/Fam #543
  • 8. 1910 Federal Census, Mason County, Illinois
    • 19 April, Mason City, District 72, page 3B, Main St, Hse/Fam #71
  • 9. Ancestry Trees
    • Stracener Family, http://trees.ancestry.com/tree/15347399/person/270009279?ssrc=&ftm=1
  • 10. Illinois Marriages to 1850
  • 11. Illinois Marriages, 1790-1860
    • Family History Library, Salt Lake City, UT, Microfilm 1313033
  • 12. Ancestry Trees
    • Norris Family, http://awtc.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=*v06t4483&id=I087
  • 13. 1850 Federal Census, Mason County, Illinois
    • 5 November, page 335/170, Hse/Fam #370
  • 14. Gravestone of George Washington Jackson, Fairlawn Cemetery, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Oklahoma
    • As reported by Pamela Black-Avitts, in email to Orville Boyd Jenkins June 2009: "George born 5/4/1848 died 4/12/1898. ... [buried in] Fairlawn Cemetery in Oklahoma City"
  • 15. 1880 Federal Census, Cherokee County, Kansas
    • 28 June, Mineral, District 45, page 22B, Hse #160, Fam #178
  • 16. 1885 Kansas State Census, Cherokee County
    • 1 March, Cherokee Township, PO Columbus, page 13,  Hse #84, Fam #89
  • 17. Gravestones of Fairlawn Cemetery in Oklahoma City
  • 18. 1860 Federal Census, Mason County, Illinois
    • 10 September, Township 20 Range 8, PO Bath, page 559, Hse #1400
  • 19. 1875 Kansas State Census, Cherokee County
    • 1 March, Cherokee Township, PO Columbus, page 5,  Hse/Fam #7
  • 20. 1870 Federal Census, Mason County, Illinois
    • [no date], Cane Creek Township, PO Mason City, page 16, Hse #104, Fam #101
  • 21. U.S. Federal Census Mortality Schedules Index
    • Name: Name: Jackson, Ron V., Accelerated Indexing Systems, comp.; Date: 1999;;
  • 22. 1885 Kansas State Census, Cherokee County
    • 1 March, Mineral Township, PO Columbus, page 41, Hse/Fam #208
  • 23. 1900 Federal Census, Cherokee County, Kansas
    • 6 June, Scammon, District 29, page 6A, Keith St, Hse #105, Fam #110
  • 24. 1880 Federal Census, Mason County, Illinois
    • 9 June, Cane Creek Township, District 131, page 7, Hse #47, Fam #48
  • 25. 1910 Federal Census, Parker County, Texas
    • 28 April, Justice Precinct 1, District 65, page 7A, South Main St [no house address], Hse/Fam #102
  • 26. Email Sources

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