Ashley Families

USA & Around The World

Salute To Our Veterans


Hello, Friends, and welcome to our Ashley Families homepages. On these pages you will find information about our various Ashleys, where and when they were in early America. Ashleys have fought in every war this country has been in, from the Revoluntionary War, when our country became the United States of America, through the past 350 years, to the Gulf War. Their presence is likely represented in Iraq today.

Our Ashleys came to the Colonies and Canada as Gentlemen with money in their pockets, people searching for new lands away from the King, as indentured servents and as convicts, sent away by the king for petty crimes. The name Ashley has been spelled a variety of ways depending on how the people recording the name in transactions, documents, later in census, as Ashley, Ashly, Ashleigh, Ashlea, even Ashby, Ashlin, Aslin. Accents and literacy/illiteracy account for many
of the spellings. They bought land, received grants, worked for land owners, spreading from the original colonies along the Atlantic coast ever westward, searching and following a dream. Today, Ashleys are world wide. They are in politics, business, sports, military, in every walk of life. Many are descendents of those early Ashleys that came to an unknown, wild country, seeking their
dreams, all those many years ago.

Two early Ashleys were John born 1625 and brother William, born in England. They share a story of love and rejection. They both loved the same woman, Lady Jane Cooper, daughter of Baronet John Cooper and wife Ann, daughter of Sir Anthony Ashley. It was decided between them, whichever she rejected, would migrate to the Colonies. William lost, and came to the Colonies. Scant early records seem to point to William settling in Accomack Co. VA.

About 1650, John and Jane Cooper Ashley also migrated to the Colonies. They had two known sons, Thomas born about 1650, and Isaac born about 1660. Thomas stayed in VA and Isaac moved to Maryland, as those are the states their records are found in. There are many Ashley descendents in the USA that trace their lines back to John Ashley and Lady Jane Cooper and brother William through their children.

In searching the Virginia archives and records, some records were found for Christopher Ashley, Nansemond Co, 1652, Dennis Ashley, Northumberland Co., 1679, John Ashley, Lancaster Co, 1653, William, Accomack, 1663, Thomas (son of John and Jane) Northumberland, 1677, Joseph, 1689. Peter, 1622, Allis, 1692, Ann, 1699, Charles, New Kent CO. 1704, Esward, Surry CO. 1714, Rachel Spotsylvania Co. 1727. According to the records there are a number of Johns Williams, and Thomas'. That name seems pretty popular among early Ashleys.

In the Maryland Hall of records are early records for Isaac (son of John and Jane) Kent Co., 1708, Henry Ashley, 1656, and records for some of Isaac's children. It seems the Maryland Ashleys also liked William, John and Thomas as these names show up in records in the 1600's.

Ashleys also migrated to Canada from Europe. Some came early as they did to the Amerca Colonies. Others arrived in the later 1800's. These Ashleys we are researching also. So far, we have not uncovered a lot of information on them, but we will!

Migration seems to have been down the coast into NC, SC, GA over the next century. In the records of 1700, there are Johns, Williams, Thomas' in Anson, Bertie, Chowan, Orange NC. There are enought records, that show them in different places, to indicate more than one of each name. Some are in the same family, but there are others we have found that must be in other families. Even the other families liked the three names. These "same names" in several families makes us all work a little harder to figure out just where they belong.

From North Carolina, Ashleys moved into South Carolina and Georgia in the mid to late 1700's More similar names came into the families. There were still plenty of the names of John, William and Thomas and now added in were Nathaniel, Robert, Charles, and Jordan.

As more frontiers were opened Ashleys moved west into territory that became some of our northern states. Ever pushing westward, some followed the Oregon Trail to the Northwest, the trail of the "49ers" to the gold fields of California. They fought the British again in 1812, fought the Indians, both in the east and the west. They were on both sides of the Civil War, and charged up San Juan Hill with Teddy Roosevelt. They lost family to the wars, the Indians, sickness and disease. They suffered through drought and poor crops and rejoiced with rain and good crops, the good times and the bad. This is our heritage, our family. These tough, resilient early immigrants to a strange unknown land and the tough pioneers that pushed the boundaries of our country from coast to coast, have made us as we are today, their lives and memories are a part of our lives.

These pages of information about our Ashleys are dedicated to the memory of those Ashleys who came before us, the Honorable Gentlemen, the laborers, the sharecroppers, merchants, seaman, and our loveable rogues, who sometimes indulged in occupations on the other side of the law. To our Ashley Warriors, who fought in many wars, Revolutionary Soldiers and the Tories and Loyalists, the Confederates and the Union, World Wars I and II, Korea, Vietnam, and Desert Storm, down through the years and presently are still serving their country in Iraq and Afghanistan. GOD BLESS, WE SALUTE YOU!!

The Ashley research list was formed in 1997, by Virginia Ewing, to help each other with these searches. Prior was a small group of researchers banded together for this purpose. If you are visiting our pages and have a Ashley hanging from a branch in your family tree, we invite you to join our group on ASHLEY-L Mail List. You may hold the key to one of our dead ends!. Or.... perhaps..... one of your new cousins will have the key you need! The Ashley Message Board has many entries. Perhaps an answer is there. Post your query here, maybe there is someone with the answer out there.

These links will take you to some of the information we have discovered in our searches.

William Ashley Will

Nathaniel Ashley Will

John Ashley TN, Will

NC Wills Abstracts

Willis Ashley Bible Record

Ashley Deeds and Land

Ashleys in US Census

Revoluntionary War Veterans

CSA Veterans

Ashley Marriages

Ashley Family Lines

Ashley Descendents

Many of us have "family stories" of a "great great grandmother" or other ancestor that was "full blooded Indian". Here are a few tips for your search. Indian Heritage Research Tips Keep in mind, the search could be a long one, unless you get lucky and find the person you are searching for on one of the government rolls, as our Native American families did not keep the types of paper records our Euro ancestors did. Many of the family stories mention the Cherokee. This is my favorite legend regarding the Cherokee Origins

As we are researching our ancestors, we find them by documents or census, first in one place, then in another. How many times have we stopped to think, “They were here, now they are there, but how did they get from “here” to “there”? If we use the context of the time period, we can build a scenario of how they got from one place to another. This little article explores those concepts, and hopefully will give someone a “feel” for the way our ancestors had to travel in the 1600, 1700, 1800's.

First of all, they could not just call up Mayflower or United, or any of the present day movers, tell them where to come to, to pack up their belongings and take to a new place and unload. They could not then, call a cab to take them to the airport, to whisk away in a silver airplane to their new home. Or they couldn’t just hop in the car with the kids and make it a vacation trip to their new home. Their mode of travel was a lot longer, harder, and much more dangerous, than the way we would move today.

Many times the move to a new place held danger. Life in a new place for our ancestors was not easy. Take a..... Glimpse Into The we go Rafting A River,, over the mountains with a Pack Horse, cross the prairies with a Wagon Train.

It was not an easy life, carving a home out of the wilderness, as our Frontier Settlers did. When they decided on a place and a destination, land had to be cleared and prepared for Building A Settler's Cabin . As more people moved into an area, Early Churches and Early Schools were built. Little towns were formed as a general store, blacksmith shop and other small business men moved into the area to provide for the needs of the folks settled there. Small farms were carved out of the wilderness. In the spring the cleared fields were plowed with horses or mules, with the farmer following behind the plow. Following the plow, someone was dropping the seeds by hand, covering the seeds in the trench left by the plow, by raking the dirt from the sides, over the seeds, with their feet.

Through the summer the seeds poked their heads through the ground. The family worked the fields, chopping the weeds from between the rows as the cotton plants grew. Late summer the plants had grown large and started blooming. It would not be long now. Crops were harvested, gardens grown and food put up to feed the families during the coming winter. Wood was cut and stacked for heat and cooking. Foodstuffs they could not grow themselves, trades were made with the store keepers. When the winters closed in on those pioneer cabins, most activity was inside where a warm fire blazed in the fireplace. Outside chores were mostly trudging through the snows to the barn to feed the animals. Inside the barn, it smelled of hay and the warm smell of the animals. It was somewhat warmer than outside as the body heat of the animals helped. Water was hauled from the well, to fill the troughs, and the skim of ice broken, so they could drink. Hay was thrown down from above, the cows milked twice a day, with the barn cats getting warm steaming milk poured in their dishes. With the children busy with learning their lessons, the Quilting could begin in a corner of the cabin. In secret, Mama and Daddy would start preparations for their Christmas presents for the children, who in turn, being very quiet but amid lots of giggling, made the presents for their parents and each other.

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Some of our ASHLEY-L cousins have joined the ASHLEY DNA Study . Please visit them to see if you can connect to their Ashley, or perhaps a collateral family.

Homepage Pride Award

Crocker's Corner Genealogy Award of

Proudly Presented to the Ashley Families
Tracy A. Crocker

These awards were made possible by the hard work the Ashley cousins have done in "digging our roots". Thank you, all.

Copyright 1997-2012
Web page update March 11, 2012

These pages composed, compiled by Ethel Taylor. Information supplied by Ashley descendents. These pages may be linked to, copied for personal use only. They may not be duplicated on other sites or for commercial purposes.