The Estes Family in the Italian Renaissance

My mother, Helen Isabella Estes Seltzer, died Dec. 28, 2010, at the age of 90.  Below you can see the direct line from her to the House of Este in Renaissance Italy.

Because of her life-long interest in family history, in her memory I also compiled  profiles of powerful and strong-willed women among her ancestors, who might inspire her descendants which you can see at Helen Seltzer's Extraordinary Women

1) Helen Isabella Estes (1920-2010) md. Richard Warren Seltzer

2) Smith William Estes (1881-1943) md. Mae Griffith

3) Louis Powhatan Estes (1849-1902) md. Lily Yates Moore (1853-1929)

4) Albert Monroe Estes (1804-1863) md. Mildred Colman

5) Joel Estes (1780-1833) md. Sara Langhorne Bates

6) Benjamin Estes (1753-1816) md. Cecilia Thorpe

7) Abraham Estes, Jr. (1697-1759) md. Elizabeth Jeeter

8) Abraham Estes, Sr. (1647-1720), emigrated from Ringwould, Kent England to St. Stephens, King Queen County, Virginia  md. Barbara Brock

9) Sylvester Estes (1596-1667) md. Ellen Martin

10) Robert Estes (1555-1616) Ringwould, Kent, England md. Anne Woodward

11) Sylvester Estes (1522-1579) born Deal, Kent, England died Ringwould, Kent, England md. Jone Estes

12) Nicholas Estes (1495-1533) md. Anny ___

13) Robert Estes (1475-1506)

 probably = son of

14) Francesco or Francisco Estes AKA Francesco or  Francisco Esteuse, born in Italy and died in England (1440 - ?)

15) Leonello d'Este, Marquess of Ferrara etc. (1407-1450)

16) Nicollo III d'Este, Marquess of Ferrara etc. (1383-1441)

17) Alberto I d'Este, Marquess of Ferrara (1347-1393)

18) Obizzo III d'Este,  Marquess of Ferrara (1294-1352)

19) Aldobrandino II, Marquess of Ferrara (d. 1326)

20) Obizzo II d'Este, Marquess of Ferrara (1247-1293)

21) Rinaldo I d'Este

22) Azzo VII d'Este

23) Azzo VI d'Este, Marquess of Este (1170-1212)

24) Azzo V d'Este (d. 1190)

25) Fulco I (d. 1128)

26) Alberto Azzo II, Margrave of Milan (996-1097) built a castle at Este, near Padua and named himself after it

[through a totally different line [Fleming] she was also descended from Alberto Azzo II by way of another of his sons -- Welf I, Duke of Bavaria]

27) Alberto Azzo I, Margrave of Milan (d. 1029

28) Oberto II, Margrave of Milan  (d. after 1014)

29) Oberto I, Margrave of Milan (d. 975)

30) Adalbert, Margrave of Milan


14 -- Leonello d'Este was the illegitimate son of Niccolo III, d'Este, Marquis of Ferrara. See Wikipedia articles on Leonello and on Niccolo. Francisco Esteuse, AKA Francisco Estes was his son. Some sources give Robert Estes as his son, but the dates don't work.  It seems highly likely that Robert was the son of Francisco (AKA Francesco)and grandson of Leonello.  That would confirm family tradition, as recounted in the Cary-Estes Genealogy (by May Folk Webb and Patrick Mann Estes, published in 1939 and reprinted in 1979).  Facing page 92 is a portrait of Francesco Esteuse with the caption "'Franceso, natural son of Marquis Leonnello, went to Burgundy and afterward to England.' These were the words written on the back of the picutre of Francesco found in a colleciton of paintings near Ferrara, among the pictures of Esteuse."

According to the Wikipedia article on the House of Este http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Este

"The lordship of Ferrara was made hereditary by Obizzo II (d. 1293) who was proclaimed Lord of Ferrara in 1264, Lord of Modena 1288 and Lord of Reggio 1289. Ferrara being a papal fief, the Este family were given the position of hereditary papal vicars in 1332.

"Ferrara became a significant center of culture under Niccolò d'Este III (1384–1441), who received several popes with great magnificence, especially Eugene IV, who held a Council here in 1438,later known as the Council of Florence.

"His successors were Leonello (1407–1450) and Borso (1413–1471), who was elevated to Duke of Modena and Reggio by Emperor Frederick III in 1452 and in return received these duchies as imperial fiefs. In 1471 he received the duchy of Ferrara as papal fief from Pope Paul II, for which occasion splendid frescoes were executed at Palazzo Schifanoia."

[NB -- Leonello was my mother's ancestor, as was Niccolo III. Both Leonello and his brother Borso were illegitimate sons (the mother of both was Stella de' Tolome. Leonello, as the eldest, became Marquess of Ferrara on his father's death. On the death of Leonello, for reasons unknown, his brother Borso, instead of his son Francesco became Marquess. And Francesco fled to northern Europe, eventually settling in England. Considering the culture of violence in that time and place, he probably fled for his life. Here are more details from Wikipedia about the collateral relatives -- Borso and his son Alfonso.[

"Under Ercole (1431–1505), [brother of Leonello] one of the most significant patrons of the arts in late 15th and early 16th century Italy, Ferrara grew into a cultural center, renowned especially for music; Josquin Des Prez worked for Duke Ercole, Jacob Obrecht came to Ferrara twice, and Antoine Brumel served as principal musician from 1505. Ercole's daughter Beatrice (1475–1497) married Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan, while his daughter Isabella (1474–1539) married Francesco Gonzaga, Marquess of Mantua.

"Ercole I's successor was his son Alfonso I (1476–1534), third husband of the notorious Lucrezia Borgia and the patron of Aiosto."  [In other words, a nephew of Mom's ancestor married Lucrezia Borgia.]



Helen Seltzer's Extraordinary Women  My mother, Helen Isabella Estes Seltzer, died Dec. 28, 2010, at the age of 90.  Because of her life-long interest in family history, in her memory I compiled these profiles of powerful and strong-willed women among her ancestors, who might inspire her descendants.


Cary-Estes Genealogy by May Folk Weeb and Patrick Mann Estes

Cary-Estes-Moore Genealogy by Helen Estes Seltzer



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