Monday, June 12, 2017

Notes From My Grandmother | Ashby Lineage and Genealogy, Part 1

Somehow, much of my grandmother's hand written and (badly) typed notes and research wound up in my possession. Traveling from Chicago to Los Angeles and back to Chicago again. It sat, in the dark of my mother's closet, until my dad passed and my mom decided to begin her great purge. Knowing I had picked up the torch, the next generation to pursue the Greatest Hobby on Earth, the papers came to live with me. Unsure for many years on just what to do with them, I have decided to bring them out and share them with you - transcribed, of course - no one can read my grandmother's handwriting! But in her own words; mistakes, rambling sentences, and all. I think she will be pleased her work and her writing are once again out in the light.

Grandma didn't write a story about the Ashbys. At least not one that I found in my collection. She incorporated some of her research in other family lines and just left typed bios and snippets in her "Ashby" envelope. I will share the contents over the next few weeks - and add the genealogy as I have come to know it.

photo found on
Jesse Ashby  - b. August 31st, 1787/8 in Allegheny County, Maryland, and was the youngest son of a family of nine children. At the age of 21 years he was married to Miss Elizabeth Wilson, daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Wilson, and soon after they removed across the line into the celebrated "Cheat River country" in Virginia, where they resided until 1834 when they remove to Perry County, Ohio. Here they were dissatisfied with the country, but remained until the spring of 1839, when in company with his nephew, Jonathan H Wilson, Mr Ashby came to this county (Washington Co, IA) and bought the claim of Thomas Baker, known in later years as the Nelson Stewart farm, adjoining our town on the south.

In the older states as well as in Iowa, he was always known as a honest, industrious, and hardworking farmer, which occupation was continued by him long after the time when most people are compelled, by the infirmities of old age, to withdraw from further active labor. Being an early and respected settler here, the name of "father Ashby" is frequently and honorably mentioned in the history of our county, in connection with many positions of trust and responsibility confided to him by his fellow citizens, all of which he discharged with fidelity and credit; and while never aspiring to be a great man, he was universally regarded as being a good man.

At the age of 22 years he was united with the M. E. Church of which he remained a faithful, trusted and exemplary member during life. Shortly after coming here, he, with his wife, and daughter Polly, became constituent members of the first Methodist church organized in Washington Township, and was appointed its first class leader as well as the first S S superintendent in out county. Now the daughter is the only constituent member of the M. E. church of this city living within its bounds.

For some years before his death Father Ashby owing to the infirmities incident to declining years, was compelled to retire from active life and for the last few months was confined to his room, where he received all the kind and tender care that an affectionate family could bestow.


Jesse Ashby b. 31 Aug 1787/8
                     d. 25 Feb 1879
                     m. (1)Elizabeth Hays Wilson
                                    b. 12 Nov 1791
                                    d. 27 Aug 1850
                         (2)Frances Brown Littler Ritchie
                                     b. 15 Jan 1806
                                     d. 15 May 1891

children (with both wives) include:

  • Mary Wilson Ashby b. 1812 d. 1899
  • Priscilla B Ashby b. 1817 d. 1911 m. E W Twining
  • Julia F Ashby b. 1818 d. UNK m. Morgan Hart
  • Elizabeth H Ashby b. 1828 d. 1878 m. Wm Bickford
  • Hester W Ashby b. 1834 d. UNK m. A B Dickens
  • Eusebius Wade H Ashby b. 1834 d. 1910 m. Elizabeth A Thrig
  • Child b. UNK d. UNK
  • Jesse A Y Ashby b. 1852 d. 1926 

Notes on Elizabeth Hays Wilson Ashby: For thirty years prior to her death she was a daughter of affliction in consequence of the failure of her health, but in all her afflictions she was patient and resigned to the will of the Lord and was supported and cheered by the hope of a glorious immortality beyond the grave. She was the mother of seven children, six of whom she raised to years of accountability, bringing them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Her house both in Virginia and Iowa was a home for the wayworn itinerant, to whose wants she always delighted to minister as her health would permit. She often talked of dying expressing a readiness and willingness to leave this world of trouble and sorrow and go home to rest in Heaven. She lived religiously and died in peace with God and man, triumphing over the last enemy - which is death.

.......... to be continued ..........

©2017 Anne Faulkner -, All Rights Reserved

©1950-82 Elizabeth Twining Potwin Thomas - private collection

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