Jesse and Christina Landes of Brushy Run, WV were my great-great grandparents. They are both buried in the Bond Family Cemetery at Brushy Run, WV, along with one daughter - Emma Grace.
There is not a consistent spelling of Jesse's name. For example, on his grave stone his name is spelled, "Jessie." However, on most historical documents such as deeds, land trusts, US government listings of postal route contracts, census records, etc., his name was spelled "Jesse." Also, his oldest child, Daniel A. Landes (my great-grandfather) spelled it 'Jesse' when he mentioned him in his diaries.* So far, there is no birth certificate, death certificate, or marriage certificate, so a definitive spelling of his first name may not be possible. Indeed, a definitive spelling of "Landes" is not possible, even within my own family. One of my uncles spelled his last name, "Landis" and that's the way all my first cousins and their families continue to spell their last name even today. Christina's maiden name was Kimble, but historically that has multiple spellings: Kimble, Kimbal, Kimball, Kimmel, etc. So, for the purposes of this site I have chosen, at least for the time being, to go with the spelling, 'Jesse.''
Jesse was born in 1809, probably in Rockingham County, VA, and died in 1894 in Pendleton County, WV. I say, "probably born" in Rockingham County, VA because I have not come accross any historical documents that specifically places Jesse in Rockingham County, only mentions of this in other geneology records such as the Lancaster, PA Mennonite Vital Records (ca. 1950) and the "Report of the 33rd Reunion of the Landis-Landes Families" held in Bucks County PA on Aug. 16, 1952. You will need an account on ancestry.com with a username and passord to view the original sources for these links directly. But, here they are:
Lancaster, PA Mennonite Vital Records (ca 1950):
Report of the 33rd Reunion (1952):
Jesse's birth and death dates are on his grave stone:
Born: Feb. 10, 1809
Died: Mar. 7, 1894
The actual location of Jesse's birth place is not a mystery so much as, who were his actual parents. There IS much disagreement and controversy over this among the various individuals who have spent a great deal of time researching the Landes/Landis genealogy over the past 50 years.
Jesse's father was, no doubt, a "John Landes," and this is why this is complicated -- there were SO many John Landeses in what is now Pendleton, Grant, and Hardy Counties in WV, and in Augusta and Rockingham Counties in VA, between the years of 1750 - 1810 that it is extrmely difficult sorting them all out.
Ultimately finding definitive historical proof for who Jesse's parents were is critical to the conclusions that individuals make in determining their own genealogical line. Several researchers have made important contributions to this mystery but their views contradict each other. Specifically, Joann Pedersen of Elgin, IL (now deceased) and Dr. Emmert Bittinger of Bridgewater, VA.
I will not dwell on those contradictory conclusions at this point but will devote a whole other section on that elsewhere on this site. In the meantime, Here is some definite, historical, and factual information about Jesse and Christina.
Jesse first shows up in the historical records in his purchase of land in what is now Pendleton and Grant Counties,WV in the 1840's. See Local Geography. Any speculations I have that are personal and which are not documented will be in brackets [and in italics].
Jesse sold a tract of land to Zebulon Wise on Sept. 26, 1842. This tract was "sixty five acres more or less" on the east side of North Mill Creek adjoining Jacob Wise's land for "the sum of ten dollars paid in hand by the said Zebulon Wise..." See Hardy County Deed Book #17, pp 377-78.
Jesse was working as a mail carrier in the 1840's and had at least one, but as many as three routes. He subcontrated these other routes (or maybe all of them) to [his brothers or nephews.] He made about $350 per year on each route, which was a lot of money in the 1840's and 50's. Consequently, he bought other properties both on the east and west side of South Mill Creek. The east side is up Brushy Run Road and the west side was up Jake Hill Road. See any map of the area to get reference points. .
Jesse purchased some land in Hardy County, WV (now Grant County) on May 1, 1847 from Saphrona (Fanny) Landes and this is documented in Hardy County Deed Book, #19, page 154. [It is my belief that Saphrona was Jesse's aunt, being the younger sister of Jesse's father, John.] He bought 37 acres and paid her $37.00, $1 per acre. Saphrona acquired the land as the result of a law suit that Saphrona and her other brothers and sisters brought against the executor of their father, Jacob Landes', estate. They won the suit and consequently Jacob's property was divided up among 16 children. The assignment of the plot of land to Saphrona was recorded and it was entered into the Deed Book in September 1845. A sketch of the tract of land is included in Hardy County Deed Book #18, page 513. 'Saphrona' is sometimes spelled 'Sophrona', Sophronia', 'Sophrony", etc.
At this point, I don't know a great deal about Jesse or Christina. I have not located their original home place, although that surely is just a matter of time. Christina's maiden name was Kimble, and she was the daughter of James Kimble. There are many Kimble families still living in the Brushy Run area who trace their lineage to James Kimble, and there is a large Kimble reunion held each year at the Bethel Church of the Brethren near Landes, WV, which is only about 5 miles down the road from Brushy Run. See the Kimble/Alt Reunion FaceBook page. No doubt there are Kimble family members that will eventually lead me to the original Jesse and Christina Landes home place.
D. A. Landes writes in the inside cover of his 1921 surveying ledger about his mother, Christina:
My mother Christina Landes was born Aug 11-1831 - and Died July 7th 1911
And again on a further inside page of the diary:
My mother Christina Landes was born Aug 11th 1831. and Died July 7th. 1911. Aged 79 years 10 months and 26 days. D. A Landes
Jesse and Christina had nine children:
Daniel Andrew (1851-1934)
Sarah Elizabeth (1853-1936)
Mary Jane (1855-1941)
Jacob William (1857-1859)
Hanna Catherine (1860 - 1933)
Jesse Franklin (1862-1962)
John Wesley (1867-1930)
Emily Susan (1870-1899)
Henry Clay (1872-1945)
Daniel Andrew (sometimes eroniously listed as Daniel Adam) was known in the family as "D. A." and was my great-grandfather. His wife, America Rebecca Dolly, was known in the family as "Becky". Sometimes D. A. wrote her name in his diaries as "A. R.", "Becca", or "America".
*Note: In the introductory pages of his 1917 diary, Daniel A. Landes wrote: 'My father Jesse Landes was born February 10th 1909 [the actual date was 1809]. he was a wagon maker and a Star Route Mail Contractor.'