Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Stephen Ashby (d. 1829) - 52 Ancestors #26

For this week's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks writing challenge from blogger Amy Crow Johnson of No Story Too Small, the theme is Halfway: This week marks the halfway point in the year — and the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge! What ancestor do you have that you feel like you’ve only researched halfway?

First of all, I am pleased with myself that I've kept up with this 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge. I am on track to writing as many posts in 2015 as I did in 2012, my most prolific year.

This week, I am sharing what little I know about a third great-grandfather, Stephen Ashby. Most of what I know about him is from The Ashby Book, Vol. 1: Descendants of Captain Thomas Ashby of Virginia (1976), compiled by Lee Fleming Reese, which is digitized and available at's Family History Books, a wonderful resource! However, this is a secondary source, so I feel that I've only researched this family halfway because I should really explore the primary source material.

Stephen Ashby was born in about 1805 (or possibly earlier) to Daniel Ashby and Mary Polly Benson. (See Surname Saturday: Ashby for more about my Ashby line.)

He married Pamela Christian on July 20, 1820, in Hopkins County, Kentucky [Kentucky Marriages, 1802-1850, Indexed Records on].  Because he died young, there are few easily-accessible records about his life. I know very little other than he died in May 1829, leaving Pamela with four young children: Malinda, Benjamin, Napoleon B. and Daniel Morgan Ashby (my second great-grandfather). However, according to the Ashby Genealogy, he left a trail of court records, which tells me more about him.

Several transcriptions in the Ashby Genealogy are from Hopkins County Court records. They are partial transcriptions, simply to confirm family relationships. However, to get a fuller picture of the legal issues in the family, it would be nice to read the full documents.

There is one reference signed by the Secretary of State. Just for fun, I searched Google Books for "Acts of the General Assembly of Kentucky Ashby 1831" and sure enough, there is a digitized book entitled: "Acts Passed at the First Session of the Fortieth General Assembly for the Commonwealth of Kentucky."

And on pp. 120-122, is Chapter DCLXXXVII (687): An Act for the benefit of the heirs of Stephen Ashby, Junr, deceased, which was approved by the Kentucky legislature on December 22, 1831.

From Google Books

From the summary paragraph in the side column:
The Hopkins Circuit Court may decree the sale of real estate of infants [the underage children] to pay the debts of their deceased father.
Commissioner to give bond.
Land to be valued, and not to be sold for less that 3/4th of its value.

It looks like more than two years after Stephen's death, there were debts remaining to be paid and the administrators of his estate (his brother, Nathaniel, and his wife, Pamela) had to get the state legislature to pass a law allowing them to sell part of the land rather than a slave, in order to pay the last of his debts.

Additional information about Pamela can be found at Looking for a Crack in the Brick Wall. (I still don't know when she died.)

Some Ashby family members ended up in Barren County, including Pamela's son (my second great grandfather, Daniel Morgan Ashby) who married Mary Elizabeth Gorin and raised his family there.

I descend from Stephen Ashby (d. 1829) as follows:

Stephen Ashby  =  Pamela Christian
Daniel Morgan Ashby
Mary Bowman Ashby
Elizabeth Adsit
Charles McAlpin Pyle, Jr.

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