Jane Calvin




Jane has been in our family tree for quite some time but her surname has been unknown. With the use of DNA to supplement the paper trail, we can now make a good guess that her maiden name was CALVIN. It would be great to have a little more proof, but working with what has been found, the following is her story.


Jane Calvin(~1804-~Jan 1853)

Jane Calvin was born in about 1804 in Fayette, Fayette, Kentucky, as the third child of Peleg Calvin and Nancy Dunn. She had eleven siblings, namely: David Peleg, Elijah, Hiram, Dennis, Andrew H., Sarah, James, John, William H., Mary Jane, and George O. Calvin. After Jane’s mother’s death, her father remarried to Elizabeth Shepherd and together they had five children who were Jane’s half-siblings, namely, Marshall A., Benjamin F., Wesley, Louisa T., and Thomas M. Calvin.

Jane is included in the list of Peleg Calvin’s children in The Calvin Families written by Claude W. Calvin in 1945. But, she was married before census records listed the names of family members in 1850, so we do not find her listed by name in a census record with her parents. The only probate records for Jane’s father, that have been found by this researcher, are basic administration papers that do not list heirs, so we cannot prove her parentage that way either.

Circumstantial evidence of Jane being in this family includes having siblings who settled in Callaway County where Jane resided.


The most pressing evidence is in our DNA.

A second great-granddaughter of Jane shares DNA with many of Peleg’s proven descendants. She matches four descendants of Peleg’s son David Peleg Calvin, three descendants of son Elijah Calvin, and two descendants of daughter Sarah Calvin Neil.

Some Calvin DNA matches.

She also shares DNA with 12 descendants of daughter Mary Jane Calvin. But those 12 matches get a little more tangled since Mary Jane Calvin and Jane Calvin married Estes brothers. So Jane’s second great-granddaughter is a 2nd great grand niece of Mary Jane but also a 2nd great grand niece of Mary Jane’s husband, Thomas Harvey Estes.

There are other complications in the DNA chain as well with a David Peleg Calvin descendant marrying into our McCall family. But we do have some seemingly uncontaminated DNA connections to the Calvin family too. For reference, according to the International Society of Genetic Genealogy, fourth cousins should share around 0.195% or around 13.28cM of DNA. In the chart above, we see 4th cousins 1x or 2x removed with around that amount, demonstrating that there were more than one set of shared ancestors in the family trees of the people tested.

In summary, with all those connections, DNA is certainly providing compelling proof that our Jane really is a daughter of Peleg Calvin.

Impressive Pedigree

Being able to place Jane in the Calvin family extends our family tree. With an quick study of the family we find two Revolutionary War ancestors and many more branches of the tree to explore and prove. There really is no end to the study of family history.

Pedigree Chart for Jane Calvin.


Jane was named for her maternal grandmother and spent her youngest years growing up in Fayette County, Kentucky.

Fayette County, Kentucky. [David Benbennick, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons]

Her maternal grandparents moved to Fayette County and in 1820 when Duncan Dunn was applying for a Revolutionary War Pension, Jane’s dad, Peleg Calvin, was supporting his in-laws.

Excerpt, Duncan Dunn Revolutionary War Pension application.

Jane’s mother, Nancy, died while Jane was young. The exact date of that death is not known, but Jane could not have been older than a teenager. Her father remarried in 1823 when Jane was about 19-years-old.

Jane moved with her family to Missouri in about 1826. Her father decided to move further westward so they left Kentucky and moved to Pike County, Missouri.

Marriage and Children

When she was around 26-years-old, Jane Calvin married John Estes, son of Moses Estes and Elizabeth Riley, about 1830. Like Jane, John Estes was born in Kentucky. As a child he moved from Kentucky to Tennessee. Sadly, his dad died when he was a teenager. His guardian was an uncle in Callaway County, Missouri. That is likely what led John to Missouri. We do not know an exact date or location for their marriage, but now that we know a bit about Jane’s background, we can guess that the marriage surely happened in Missouri.

John Estes and Jane Calvin had the following children:

  1. William Riley Estes was born in 1833 in Callaway, Missouri. He married Margaret A. O’Donnell on 26 Aug 1855 in Callaway, Missouri. He married Sarah Hill about 1866 in Callaway, Missouri. He died in 1880 in Sedalia, Pettis, Missouri.
  2. James A. Estes was born in 1834 in Callaway, Missouri, USA. He died in Dec 1860 in Callaway, Missouri, USA (Age: 25).
  3. Moses Patrick Estes was born in Oct 1835 in Callaway, Missouri, USA. He died on 28 Feb 1905 in Callaway, Missouri, USA (Age: Abt 69). He married Isabel Blankenship on 17 Oct 1858 in Callaway, Missouri, USA.
  4. Thomas H. B. Estes was born in 1838 in Callaway, Missouri, USA. He died before May 1859 (Not listed as heir to his father’s estate).
  5. Mary Elizabeth Estes was born in 1841 in Callaway, Missouri, USA. She died date Unknown.
Callaway County, Missouri [David Benbennick, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons]

Jane and John Estes made their life in Callaway County, Missouri. John Estes bought up many parcels of land there very near the Missouri River. As a pioneer woman, Jane would have had to work very hard. She would have had to carry water from the river to do washing and cooking. The cooking would have been over an open fire and the meat she cooked would have been what John could hunt. Besides cooking and cleaning and caring for the children, she would have had to make her own cloth and make all the clothing for her family.

John Estes, land in Callaway County, Missouri.

By the beginning of the 1850s, John and Jane were apparently doing well. They were raising four growing boys and a young daughter, and John had accumulated 200 acres of land to farm. But then, life took a turn. Jane died sometime between the 1850 census and 1853 in Callaway County. The exact date of her death and her place of burial have not been determined, but she only lived to her mid-40s.

Where is she in the tree?

Relationship Chart: Thomas Leland Estes to Jane Calvin.

How do I find out more?

While little else is known about Jane Calvin, you can learn much more about her descendants and her husband’s lineage in the book The Estes Family. Note that at the time of publication, Jane’s surname was not yet known, so the Calvin family is not covered in that book.

The Estes Family

  • Publication date: January 2019
  • Pages: 740
  • Formats:
  • This book traces our Estes family from our earliest known Estes ancestor, Nicholas Estes, who was born about 1495 in England. His descendants, beginning with our immigrant ancestor, Abraham Estes, lived through all the major events in American history. Detailed biographies are included for twelve generations of ancestors from Nicholas through the family of his 9th great-grandson, Thomas Leland Estes. Thousands of descendants have been identified and are listed.

Selected Sources:

Jerome Walker, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons, File: DNA_double_helix_horizontal.png (https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c4/DNA_double_helix_horizontal.png)

“Autosomal DNA statistics,” International Society of Genetic Genealogy Wiki (https://isogg.org/wiki/Autosomal_DNA_statistics : accessed 16 Mar 2022).

Ancestry.com, The Calvin families : origin and history of the American Calvins, with a partial genealogy (Provo, UT, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005), Ancestry.com.

Ancestry.com, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, 1800-1900 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010).

Ancestry.com, 1850 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009), www.ancestry.com, Year: 1850; Census Place: District 12, Callaway, Missouri; Roll: M432_393; Page: 301A; Image: 602.

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