Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Workday Wednesday ~ Texas Stock Farmer

On my father's side of the family, there are several families which are either very small (one or two children) or if there are several children, only one child left descendants in more than one generation.

My father, Charles McAlpin Pyle, Jr. was an only child.

His mother, Elizabeth Adsit (known as Libby to us grandchildren), was one of two children; her brother never married.

Libby's father, Charles Chapin Adsit, was one of seven children, and the only one to have grandchildren. (See More on the Adsit Family for the details.)

Libby's mother, Mary Bowman Ashby, was one of six children, and I don't believe any of her siblings had children who lived to adulthood.

Mary Bowman Ashby's mother, Mary Elizabeth Gorin, was one of seven children, the youngest of whom, Florence Gorin, married John A. Lee.

Inscription from the Gorin Family Bible:
Miss Florence Gorin
Presented by her
Pa T. J. Gorin
Florence Gorin and John Lee didn't have children, and upon their deaths, Florence willed certain items to her sister's daughter, Mary Bowman (Ashby) Adsit (daughter of Mary Elizabeth (Gorin) Ashby). Because of the small families as noted above, certain "treasures" like the Gorin Family Bible and the ambrotype of Thomas J. Gorin, were passed down from Florence on down to my father.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Military Monday ~ Ashby Connections

My second great grandfather, Daniel Morgan Ashby, was born in January 1828 and died July 13, 1907. I do not have a primary source record for his birth. All the records I have indicate that he was born in Kentucky (census records, death certificate), I'm just not sure where, as different sources indicate different counties.

Several years ago, I connected with a Kentucky researcher who was able to provide me with D. M. Ashby's ancestry to immigrant ancestor, Thomas Ashby (b. 1680, England, d. 1752, Virginia): 

Daniel Morgan5 Ashby (1828-1907), Stephen4 Ashby (1805-1829), Daniel3 Ashby (1759-1834), Stephen2 Ashby (1710-1797), Thomas1 Ashby (1680-1752)

Please note that some of this is considered secondary source information. I am hoping to ultimately find some primary source evidence to prove Daniel Morgan Ashby's parentage, which would be great. By confirming his parents, this would make the connection to the Virginia Ashby family, of which there is a lot of information.

Confederate Commander Turner Ashby (information at Wikipedia) has the following ancestry:

Turner5 Ashby, Jr. (1828-1862), Turner4 Ashby (1789 - 1834), John3 Ashby (1740-1815), Robert2 Ashby (1710/15-1792), Thomas1 Ashby (1680-1752)

The number after each man's name indicates the generation since the immigrant ancestor, who in this case is Thomas Edward Ashby. My second great grandfather is a third cousin to Turner Ashby, Jr. which makes me a third cousin four times removed to Confederate Commander (not actually General) Turner Ashby.

May 10, 2013 update: After reviewing The Ashby Book by Lee Fleming Reese (1976) for a Surname Saturday blog post, I have updated Turner Ashby's ancestry. The author was able to prove that his line was through Thomas' son Robert, not his son John.

Interestingly, D. M. Ashby was drafted into the Union Army, as he lived in Kentucky. 

My descent from Daniel Morgan Ashby > Mary Bowman Ashby > Elizabeth Adsit > Charles McAlpin Pyle, Jr. > me.

Military Monday is a daily blogging prompt from GeneaBloggers, the genealogy community's resource for blogging. It is used by many genealogy bloggers to help them tell stories of their ancestors.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sunday's Obituary ~ Morgan Ashby

I've been looking for an obituary for my second great grandfather, D. M. Ashby and I found one at the Chronicling America website, in The Adair County News.

July 24, 1907, page 4. Morgan Ashby obituary., The Adair County News,
Columbia, Kentucky, online images (
Not quite accurate, as he died not on July 20 (the previous Saturday), but the Saturday a week and a half prior, on July 13, 1907. Birth records for the early part of the 19th century Kentucky are thin, but I believe he was born in January 1828 (noted in his 1900 U.S. Census record), which would make him 79 at his death. I've seen records indicating that he was born in Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky (on one daughter's death certificate) and in Madisonville, Hopkins County, Kentucky (on another daughter's death certificate), and this states he was born in Logan County. The statements that I can corroborate are that he did spend the greater part of his life in Glasgow (Barren County, Kentucky) and that he resided in Louisville for the last twenty years of his life.

According to his death certificate, Daniel Morgan Ashby was 80 years old when he died on July 13, 1907, in Winnetka, Cook County, Illinois, where he had been for three days.

Illinois, Cook County Deaths, 1878-1922, ( from Illinois Department of Public Health,
Division of Vital Records, Springfield, Illinois), FHL microfilm 1,239,952. Record for Daniel M. Ashby.

Several of his surviving children lived in Chicago at this time. Maybe he was visiting his daughter, Mary Bowman (Ashby) Adsit, and his grandchildren, Charles C. Adsit, Jr. and my grandmother, Elizabeth Adsit, who would have just turned ten less than a month beforehand.

Sunday's Obituary is a daily blogging prompt from GeneaBloggers, the genealogy community’s resource for blogging. It is used by many genealogy bloggers to help them tell stories of their ancestors.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Workday Wednesday ~ Tobacco then Insurance

When I first began researching this branch of my family tree, I only knew the name of my second great grandfather as D. M. Ashby. Ultimately I learned his name was Daniel Morgan Ashby.

The earliest record I have for D. M. Ashby is the 1850 U.S. Federal Census, in Glasgow, Barren County, Kentucky. He was born in Kentucky about 1828.

Detail from 1850 U.S. Federal Census, Glasgow, Barren, Kentucky

He is enumerated in the household of Joshua A. McDowell and is listed as a merchant.

In 1860, Daniel M. Ashby, age 32, is still listed as a merchant., database online. Year: 1860; Census Place: Glasgow, Barren, Kentucky;
Roll: M653_354; Page: 1066; Image: 507; Line: 2. Record for Daniel M. Ashby

Monday, January 9, 2012

Military Monday ~ D. M. Ashby

I found my 2nd great grandfather, Daniel Morgan Ashby, of Barren County, Kentucky, in's Civil War Draft Registration Records, 1863-1865:, U.S., Civil War Draft Registrations Records, 1863-1865 (Provo, UT, USA, Operations, Inc., 2010),, Database online. Line 20, record for D. M. Ashby.

Detail from above record
D. M. Ashby was 37 years old, white, occupation Merchant, and born in Kentucky. (I think that N. B. Ashby, two lines above, age 39, a farmer, was his brother, but I don't have primary source evidence for this.)

From's description of these records:
There were four drafts between 1863 and 1865, which included 3.175 million records. Historically, the 1863 draft was one of the most tenuous moments in the Union outside of the battles fought on Northern soil. Most of the concern was due to the draft riots that took place in New York in 1863.
These records include 631 volumes of registries and are basically lists of individuals who registered for the draft. The records are split into two different classes, Class I are those aged 20-35 as well as those 36-45 and unmarried. Class II is everyone else that registered.
Another item for my to-do list: find out if Daniel Morgan Ashby served in the Civil War. A quick look at shows me that there were at least two other Daniel Ashbys on the side of the Union in the Civil War - one in Indiana and one in Missouri. There were also Ashbys on the Confederate side in Virginia, very likely cousins to great great grandfather Daniel Morgan Ashby, but at first glance, I don't see "my" Daniel Morgan (or D. M.) Ashby in other Civil War databases or in Civil War databases.

Military Monday is a daily blogging prompt from GeneaBloggers, the genealogy community’s resource for blogging. It is used by many genealogy bloggers to help them tell stories of their ancestors.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Wordless Wednesday ~ Helen and Toby

My maternal grandparents (Helen Lysle Hunter and Lowell Townsend Copeland) on their 40th wedding anniversary, September 5, 1971 (noted on the back of the photo).

Wordless Wednesday is a daily blogging prompt from GeneaBloggers, the genealogy community’s resource for blogging. It is used by many genealogy bloggers to help them tell stories of their ancestors. 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Genealogy New Year's Resolutions

I'm not big on making New Year's Resolutions, but perhaps if these are in writing, I'll follow up on them and I can report at the end of 2012 on how I did.

  1. Post to this blog at least twice a week (and to my other blog, A Jewish Genealogy Journey, at least once a week).
  2. Continue to organize (and scan) my old photographs and family memorabilia, of which I seem to have quite a bit. In addition to organizing the old photographs, I need to consult with my mother about identifying people in some of these photos.
  3. Work on finding the parents of Susan Rood (Chapin). Her daughter's sampler and a couple of Chapin genealogies are my only sources of her maiden name of Rood.
  4. Choose one or two other lines to focus my research on, rather than jumping from one line to another, as I usually do. (This may be my most challenging resolution.)
  5. Visit the New England Historic Genealogical Society more often, since I can easily take the train into Boston to do so! 
  6. I have been an NEHGS online volunteer for several years, and I didn't get as many hours in during 2011 as I did during 2010 or 2009, so my goal is to transcribe / proofread at least 7-8 hours every month.
  7. Add more to FindAGrave, both memorials for my ancestors, as well as uploading photographs of gravestones for others who request them.
If I accomplish anything else, it will be a pleasant bonus. Thank you to all who are reading my blog!