Donald Shasteen Political ButtonThe Shasteen families go back to progenitors in the Revolutionary War era. Most genealogist involved in Shasteen research believe that these families descend from immigrant Pierre Chastain who came to America in 1700. However, due to a lack of critical records, no specific connection has been made, so no one knows how they relate to Pierre.

Shasteen is the 20,539th most common name in America.

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Shasteen Progenitors
James Shasteen
Jesse Shasteen
Shasteens in the Civil War
Shasteen Crime Fighters
Shasteen Distribution by State
Notable Shasteens

Shasteen Progenitors

The two earliest documented Shasteens from whom current Shasteens descend are James Shasteen, born about 1750-1760, and Jesse Shasteen, born about 1765. Both were born in the same area of Virginia, and both are said to have served in the Revolutionary War. Most researchers believe they were brothers and that they descend from Pierre, though some question whether another Shasteen/Chastain may have immigrated to Virginia without being documented. The genealogical difficulty in tying them to Pierre Chastain is in determining who their father was. This is the point at which available records break down.

Raymond Shasteen lists as possible fathers: (1) James Chastain (also Chastaine and Chastine) in the muster rolls of a company of Capt. Beverly Robinson raised in the Colony of Virginia in 1746 for an expedition against Canada during King George's War 1739-1748, and (2) James Sharsted, who on August 20, 1748 witnessed the deed recording the sale of land from John Thrasher to James Smith in Albemarle County, Virginia. However, Raymond points out that Frank Ellison thinks Isaac Chastain born March 15, 1734 in King William Parish, Virginia is the most likely father of Jesse and James Shasteen. Isaac Chastain was the son of Rene Chastain, Sr. and the grandson of Pierre. Cook favors John and Charlotte Judith Chastain as the parents. Others speculate that the father was Pierre Chastain, Jr.

Descendents of each of these men have researched their history and progeny. James Shasteen's story can be found at Shasteen Genealogy maintained by James Shasteen descendent Raymond D. Shasteen. Jesse Shasteen descendent Joy Gallagher's research on Jesse Shasteen is found on Chastain Central's Jesse Shasteen.

Shasteen, Shatteen, and similar spellings are common in early public records even for those who spelled their name as Chastain. Census takers and other public scribes often wrote down names as they heard them, rather than asking for correct spelling. What this indicates is that the French name, Chastain, was pronounced in the earliest days with the soft French Ch, the same as Charlemagne or Charles (Sharl) de Gaulle. The last part of the name was pronounced steen instead of stain. This persists in the later spellings of Chasteen, Chastine, and Chesteen as well as Shasteen.

See Shasteen Family Genealogy Forum for Shasteen inquiries and responses.

James Shasteen

James Shasteen was born about 1750-1760 in Virginia, but the county of his birth is unknown. He died February 28, 1841 in Rockcastle County, Kentucky. James married Phoebe Padgett on April 18, 1782 in Amherst County, Virginia. James bought 100 acres of land in Amherst County, Virginia in 1799, and his son James, Jr. sold 100 acres in 1812. James shows up on the personal tax roles of Amherst County, Virginia from 1786-1793 and 1795-1812 and on the land tax roles from 1790-1815. James is listed on the property tax roles as James Shasteen (J. River) in 1790 , the same year another James appears, who is listed as James Shasteen (Pedlar). According to Raymond Shasteen, the male names line up perfectly with the Chasteens / Shasteens of Ross, Henry, and Defiance Counties of Ohio in the 1820 and 1830 censuses. See Raymond Shasteen's Shasteen Genealogy.

Raymond Shasteen distinguishes this James Shasteen from the James Shasteen who married Nancy Kennedy, tentatively identifying the second James Shasteen with James Shasteen (Pedlar). However, Claude Cook in Little Otter (page 29) believes our James Shasteen married both Phoebe Padgett (1782) and Nancy Kennedy (1788). In correspondence with Chastain Central, Raymond Shasteens disputes Cook's theory using a land transaction: Shartead James, Jr. & wife Phoebe 100A to John & R.S. Ellis et al (a mercantile partnership) for 60 (Amherst, rec 15 Nov 1813 De-M-380 part of M-N 1811-1818). He states that "At the time of this land sale, the other James Shasteen that married Nancy Kennedy was 20 years into his life after having left Amherst for KY in 1791 per personal property tax rolls of Amherst VA and KY. I speculate that James who married Phoebe probably died shortly hereafter as he is not seen anywhere after this."

James Shasteen served in the Revolutionary War starting in 1777 with a three year hitch followed by a second enlistment of eighteen months. He was present at Yorktown and was discharged the day after Cornwallis surrendered.

Jesse Shasteen

Jesse Shasteen, or Shatteen as it appears in several records, served as an infantry soldier in the Virginia Line during the Revolutionary War. Jesse married Ellenor Coffey in Amherst County, Virginia in 1785. By 1792, Jesse, his wife, their first two children, William and Samuel, and Ellenor's daughter from her first marriage, Jane Coffey, were living in Madison County, Kentucky. Jesse is believed to be the brother of James Shasteen, whose name also appears in Virginia records as Shatteen. Like Jesse, James also married in Amherst County, Virginia, and served in the Virginia Line during the Revolutionary War. James and his wife, Nancy Kennedy, moved to Madison County, Kentucky in October 1791.

On April 28, 1829, Jesse and Ellenor Shasteen sold their land on Otter Creek in Wayne County, Kentucky to Benjamin Rains. According to a Wayne County deed, Benjamin Rains had purchased two tracts of land on Bradley's Creek in Franklin County, Tennessee on October 13, 1825. Shortly after April 1829, Jesse and Ellenor moved from Kentucky to Tennessee, then Jesse is believed to have moved from Tennessee to Illinois to live with his son Jesse, Jr. and family, who were in Gallatin County as early as 1824. It is believed Jesse, Sr. died between the 1830 and 1840 census. Jesse, Sr. left no will naming his heirs.

Though the descent of Jesse Shasteen from Pierre Chastain has not yet been demonstrated, there is a definite connection to the Chastain line in that Jesse's son William married Mary Lavina Chastain, daughter of Rev. John Chastain, a grandson of Pierre. William and Lavina had five children. See much more at Jesse Shasteen. Stray Leaves follows Jesse's descendents.

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Shasteens in the Civil War


Shasteen, Bariah Ohio
Shasteen, Chester B. Illinois
Shasteen, Edward Ohio
Shasteen, Emanuel Ohio
Shasteen, Francis M. Ohio
Shasteen, Henry Illinois
Shasteen, James Ohio; Veteran Reserve Corps
Shasteen, James C. Ohio
Shasteen, Joseph D. Indiana
Shasteen, Lewis Ohio
Shasteen, Lewis C. Ohio
Shasteen, Peter Ohio
Shasteen, Pleasant E. Indiana
Shasteen, Samuel Ohio
Shasteen, Uriah Ohio


Most of the Tennessee soldiers came from Moore County.

Shasteen, Andrew W. Tennessee
Shasteen, Banjamin B. Tennessee
Shasteen, Elijah B. Tennessee
Shasteen, Ezekiel F. Tennessee
Shasteen, George W. Tennessee
Shasteen, J. A. Tennessee
Shasteen, J. B. Missouri
Shasteen, J. W. Tennessee
Shasteen, Jacob Tennessee
Shasteen, John King, Illinois
Shasteen, Samuel J. Tennessee
Shasteen, T. P. Tennessee
Shasteen, W. I. Missouri
Shasteen, W. J. Missouri
Shasteen, W. M. Tennessee
Shasteen, W. S. Missouri
Shasteen, William Tennessee

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Shasteen Crime Fighters

Cliff Shasteen, Police Officer, Illinois
Jack Shasteen, Chief of Police, Chattanooga, Tennessee
John L. Shasteen, Sheriff, Jackson County, Ohio
Richard Shasteen, Fire Department Captain, Tullahoma, Tennessee

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Shasteen Distribution by State

The first chart is based on data provided by's Family Distribution Maps, taken from the censuses of 1840, 1880, and 1920. As is evident from the chart, Shasteens were centered in the Midwest and Tennessee. The 1990 data is from Hamrick. As Shasteen is a less common name, ranking #20,539 among names on the 2000 census, only two states show more than 1 Shasteen family in 10,000. Wyoming may seem a big surprise, but it had a very small population of 453,588 in 1990, so it would take only 46 Shasteens to make a percentage showing. However, a recent search revealed only two Shasteen households in that state, representing perhaps only 8-12 individuals. Chart #2 shows Shasteen distribution results among Civil War soldiers, both Union and Confederate. They are not very surprising, and like the Chastain Charts, they resemble the 1880 census more than the 1840.

Chart #1 Shasteen Rankings from Census
Total13 families116 families68 families

Chart #2 Shasteen Rankings from Civil War Service

Back to Text Back to Chart 1
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Notable Shasteens

Here is a selection of notable Shasteens from today and the past.

Chester B. Shasteen, Civil War casualty
Clifton M. Shasteen, Kennedy assassination witness
Donald E. Shasteen, Republican politician
H. E. "Bud" Shasteen, Libertarian politician
James Shasteen, patriarch
Jesse Shasteen, patriarch
Jon R. Shasteen, Brigadier General
Kenneth Parker Shasteen, Vietnam casualty
Rhonda Shasteen, Senior VP, Mary Kay
Tony Shasteen, illustrator
William Shasteen, patriarch

Shasteen Place Names

The Shasteen building is at the Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee. It includes a number of services including the Purchasing Department, the Campus Police Department, the Director of the Physical Plant, Central Receiving, and a conference room.

There are roads and streets named Shasteen at Somerville, AL and at Estill Springs, Lynchburg, and Winchester, TN

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