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John Abel/Ables Senior South Carolina

Replies: 4

Re: John T. Ashley in Anderson County, South Carolina

Posted: 1189039365000
Classification: Query
John T. Ashley's parents were Edward Ashley and Elizabeth Able/Abel. This is some info about Edward Ashley and wife:

1850 Census Anderson Co., SC Eastern Div. PG 258A
August 1850

Edward Ashley 46 Farmer All Born in SC
Elizabeth 36
Martha Jane 18
Lucinda C. 16
John T. 14
Sarah Ann F. 12
Eliza 10
Metty L. 8 Female - Name difficult to read
Edward W. 6
Joseph M. 4
Joshua W. 1

1860 census Anderson County, SC
4th Dist. page 207
July 12, 1860

Edward Ashley, age 57, SC
Elizabeth, age 45, SC
Sarah A., age 20, SC
Eliza, age 18, SC
Milly, age 16, SC
Edward, age 14, SC
Marion, male, age 12, SC
Joshua, age 11, SC
Jasper, age 8, SC
William, age 5, SC
John T. Ashley, age 23, SC
Catharine, age 20, SC
John W., age 6 months, SC

Abbeville Banner - - 1846 - - Equity Court of Sale - Henry Branyon vs Joseph J. Branyon and others, Bill for Partition, on Monday the 28th day of December the following tracts....Tract No. 5 or the John M. Shirley Tract, situate in Anderson District adjoining lands of Edward Ashley, I.B. Armstrong and others; Tract No. 8 or the Jonathan Shirley Tract, situate in Abbeville District, adjoining lands of Hugh Robinson, John Shirley and others...

NOTES: From the Anderson Intelligencer (newspaper from Anderson Co. SC), Jan 29, 1880:
" Mr. Edward Ashley died at his residence in Martin Township on last Sunday inthe 76th year of his age, after an illness of only 24 hours of paralysis. He was a good citizen, an obliging neighbor, a consistent Christian and leaves a large circle of relatives and friends to mourn their loss. "

Also from the Anderson Intelligencer, dated February 1897, was the obituary for the widow of Edward Ashley, Elizabeth Abel Ashley:
" Death of Mrs. Ashley - - Mrs. Elizabeth Ashley, relict of the late Edward Ashley, died at her home in Martin Township on Thursday the 18th inst. The deceased was the mother of thirteen children, 7 sons and 6 daughters. The daughters and one son preceded her to the grave. She had 72 grandchildren and 77 great grandchildren and in addition to raising her own, she raised four orphans. Her life was on eof toil and care. She was a member of the Mt. Bethel Church and we have been informed she was most consistent. She as buried on Saturday 20th inst. in Mt. Bethel Churchyard. Revs. M. McGee and N.G. Wright conducting the funeral services.
The pallbearers were John T. Murdock, R.W. Ashley Jr., R.B. Ashley, J.S. Ashley, J.T. Ashley Jr., J.B. Ashley Jr. , all of whom were her grandsons. They have many sympathizers in their bereavement. "Come now ye orphaned children who will sorrow here below and join me in a promise that you'll go to glory. Then when our labors ended and time shall be no more we will go and live with mother where parting is no more." N.G. Wright

This is the info about Joshua Whitner Ashley, the brother of John T. Ashley (and son of Edward Ashley and Elizabeth Abel:

from "Honea Path Milestones", compiled by The Bicentennial Committee", ca 1978: Excerpts:

" The Honorable Joshua Whitner Ashley was the son of Edward Ashley and Elizabeth Able Ashley. He was born at the old Ashley home place, two miles east of Mt. Bethel Church in Martin township, Dec 16, 1848; he died April 28, 1916. He was the youngest boy and one of 12 children (two of whom died in infancy). The ten who survived lived in Abbeville and Anderson Count and made a place for themselves. They were: John Thomas; E. Wesley; Joe M.; Jasper B.; W. Turner; and Joshua W; Mrs. Lucinda Saylors; Mrs. Sara Ann Mitchell; Mrs. Eliza Murdock and Mrs. Mille Murdock.

On Feb 18, 1875 Joshua Ashley married Mahala Caroline Moore, daughter of John M. Moore and Malinda Carwile Moore.

"Uncle Josh", as he was known throughout the State, had only six weeks of formal education. What he knew of reading, writing or "figuring" was taught him by his wife after they were married. She had a better than average education for that time period. However, what Josh lacked in education was more than compensated for by a keen mind, determination and drive, along with a rare sense of wit. He was a most able politician; also he was one of the most widely known men of the Piedmont section of the State.

When Mr. Ashley became of age he worked on the farm of the late James Drake for wages. Later he started farming for himself on the Robinson place in upper Abbeville County and located about three miles south of Honea Path, now a part of the C.F. Sauer farms. After this he purchased the Cobb place where he lived until the time of his death. He rose from unschooled poverty to wealth. He had the confidence of his fellow man to a degree only given to men of great strength and character.

"Uncle Josh" began his active career in politics about the time of the Red Shirt movement. He was always very proud to have been one the Red Shirt Riders.

In 1890 some friends announced Mr. Ashley as a candidate for the House of Representatives from Anderson County, but he declined to make the race that year. Two years later in 1892 however, he announced himself for the House and was elected. Again and again Mr. Ashley offered for re-election and the people of Anderson County showed their appreciation of his great worth, influence and faithful service by returning him to the House. He served in the lower branch of the Legislature for twenty years with the exception of two years, when he offered for the Senate and was defeated. He made the race again two years later in the next primary and was elected by a large majority. Because of the large number of votes he received he was Chairman of the Legislative Delegation of Anderson County. While the fame of many politicians of "yesteryear" have been forgotten, that of "Uncle Josh" has survived the passing of time.

From the first day Mr. Ashley entered the House of Representatives he was recognized as a leader and Speaker of the House appointed him as a member of several committees. He was "wrapped up" in farming, advocating and supporting everything that the Agricultural Committee offered, and served in this capacity for many years. He strived to do all in his power to secure legislation favorable to the farmer, the laboring classes and poor people. Because of his strong opposition to the extravant appropriations, he was dubbed "The Watch Dog of the Treasury".

John Ashley's record in the House was well known throughout the State. He always entered into the fight with his soul. There was never any doubt about where he stood on any issue. When he cried "I'm a'gin it ", a Bill had rough sledding, if passed at all --and few did. He was the first representative in South Carolina to introduce a bill regulating the hours of labor in cotton mills. Thus, the first labor law of South Carolina was passed. At the same time he made the prophecy that unless labor was kept under control that it could become too great a monopoly. Few people have the foresight that he had to see and predict the outcome of laws and legislation.

A few things stand out in his record. He was a strong advocate for liberal pensions for confederate veterans and their widows. Also, he supported liberal appropriations to the State Hospital for the insane and for the Institute for the Deaf and Blind.....

There are many stories still current concerning "Uncle Josh" and his activities; some true, others highly exaggerated and as many false...He enjoyed most of them and turned them to his own advantage when he wished. One of the stories one used at almost every election year and at many gatherings - - some heckler in the crowd would yell "you can't go to the legislature Uncle can't write your name." His typical reply was "aye, God, I can make a mark that could buy you out, lock, stock and barrel". There are many documents that could prove that he wrote a fairly good letter and could sign his name. He did read very laboriously. His son-in-law James N. Pearman, who could read fluently, accompanied him to Columbia and reported it was most unusual for him to have to read a Bill more than once, an occasional paragraph a second time maybe, before Uncle Josh could quote it verbatim. When a smart young lawyer tried to trap him by the use of big words or involved legal terms, his reply was "I don't know what ---- and ---- mean, but let me tell you what the Bill means and what it's effect will be."

By sheer force of will, ambition and industry, he earned all the honors that came to him. Properity never changed him in any way. His was a happy disposition - - he loved people. He could call almost every person in the County by name. He was especially concerned about the person who was struggling to pull himself up from poverty and want. He was always ready to help those in need - - no one was ever turned away from his door. He took them in as a stranger and he and "Aunt Holley" fed, housed and clothed them until a job could be found suited to their ability. He saw to it that the sick were cared for and the dead buried. He gave generously to those less fortunate. He had a trigger temper and frequently lost it. He would hit first - - then take the victim to the doctor, pay the bill and help them in any way he could to get adjusted.

There are two favorite stories of his family. First one is: A fellow legislator said to him "Uncle Josh, I'll bet you could be President of these United States if you had an education." His reply was " I don't know - - I may have been a damn fool - - I know some who are." The second one came about when the House was deliberating a compulsory school law. He was out of the chamber for most of the debate and came in just in time to hear that the compulsory education law was "essential". "Josh Ashley" stopped dead in his tracks and bellowed "Mr. Speaker, Mr. Speaker!! I'm a'gin anything compulsory. This is a free land and we are living it. Ain't nobody got a right to force nobody else to do what he don't want to do. I move that this Bill, whatever, is to be tabled." This was reported by former Governor Heyward as his story about one of the most colorful characters that he had ever known.

Mr. Ashley was a proud and handsome man, not too tall - - about average in height. (Although he carried himself tall.) He had a florid face, dark auburn curly hair, flashing gray-green eyes. His hands and feet were unusually small but his neck and shoulders were heavy set, thick and muscular, expressive of power and strength. He never dressed informally. His daughter, Savannah Pearman,
said she never remembered seeing him in anything other than white shirts, conservative tie and a dark business suit....

Mr. Ashley spent part of his life in merchandizing. He had a store or commissary on his farm and he then opened a store on Main Street of Honea Path, which he sold several years prior to his death. On his farm he also had a saw-mill and cotton gin. He loved fast horses and game chickens. The largest crowd on record that ever attended a funeral in Anderson County was that in honor of Mr. Ashley. About 100 of these were blacks - - all of whom wept for the loss of the "best friend they ever had". Truly he was a good friend to all who worked with and for him. He expected the best from others - - because he gave the best. Mr. Ashley suffered a stroke of facial paralysis soon after the 1912 primary. A second and more serious stroke came in 1913 and he voluntarily retired from politics because of this condition. When he was stricken with the second big stroke people from all over the State came to see him and his family in droves. There were no available hotels or eating places so his family took care of those needs........

Josh Ashley was survived by his wife and three sons and three daughters:
Melvin Joshua Ashley; Joe M.H. Ashley; Orr Ashley; Mrs. Millie C. Canfield; Mrs. Ella Ashley; Mrs. Savannah Pearman (wife of James N. Pearman)....
Joshua Ashley and wife were members of the Keowee Baptist Church, for which he gave the land and sawed out the lumber for the first church. He and his wife are buried in the church cemetery of Mt. Bethel Baptist Church (Anderson County, SC)..."

1880 Census Anderson Co., SC, Honea Path Twp., PG 286B
J.W. Ashley 29
Mahala 24
M.L.C. 3 Female
J.M.H. 2 Male

More About JOSHUA W. ASHLEY: Burial: Mt. Bethel Baptist Church Cemetery, Anderson Co., SC
More About MAHALA C. MOORE: Burial: Mt. Bethel Baptist Church Cemetery, Anderson Co., SC

Back to John T. Ashley here is some info about his civil war service:

Applied for a civil war pension from Anderson Co. SC

Date: 1919/04/14

Edward Ashley (father of John T. Ashley)was the son of Thomas Ashley and Nancy Pruitt. Here is some info about Thomas Ashley and Nancy his wife:

1810 census Abbeville County, South Carolina


2 males ages 0 - 10
1 male age 26 - 45
1 female age 0 - 10
1 female age 16 - 26

1820 census Abbeville Co. South Carolina

Thomas Ashley

2 males aged 0 - 10 years
1 male age 26- 45 years
3 females ages 0 - 10 years
1 female age 26 - 45 years

1830 census Anderson County, South Carolina

Nancy Ashly

1 male age 5 - 10 years
2 females ages 5 - 10 years
2 females ages 10 - 15 years
1 female age 40 - 50 years

Notes: Thomas Ashley served in the War of 1812. His widow Nancy applied
for a widow's pension.

War of 1812
Declaration for Pension under Act of February 14th, 1871
State of South Carolina
County of Anderson

Declaration for Pension

On this 13th day of September A.D. One Thousand Eight Hundred and Seventy One, personally appeared before me Andrew O. Harris, Judge of Probate,a court of record, within and for the county and state aforesaid, Nancy Ashley, aged about eighty seven years, a resident of Anderson County State of South Carolina; who being duly sworn according to law, declares that she is the widow of Thomas Ashley to whom she was married in Abbeville District now County, South Carolina on the __day of March about the year 1804, Eighteen hundred and Four. She cannot say what year but she had four children when her husband entered the service; and that her said husband Thomas Ashley served in said war over sixty days, in the service of the United States in the War of 1812; that he is the identical Thomas Ashley who was enlisted in Captain Jacob Reed's Company; she thinks in Earles Regiment Brigade and Division; at ___on the ___day of ___181--about three months during the War of 1812 and that he was honorably discharged at ___on the ___day of 1812; she cannot give the exact year and time, but that he brought home with him his discharge papers but they have been lost or misplaced. That he was in the Infantry Service, but her husband having died soon after the War she is not now able to give any particular account of his services. That she was his wife while in service and at the close of the war when the treaty of peace was ratified and that she has never intermarried with any other person since his death and is now his wodow. And that she has at no time during the late rebellion against the authority of the United States, adhered to the cause of the enemies of the government, given them aid or comfort, or exercised the functions of any office whatsoever under any authority or pretended authority, in hostility to the united states; that she will support the consitution of the united states, that she is not in receipt of a pension under any previous act and that she has never received or made application for a land warrant; and that she makes this declaration for the purpose of being placed on the pension roll of the United States under the provision of the act approved Feb 14, 1871; and that she hereby constitutes and appoints with full power of substitution and revocation, John B. Moore of Anderson Court House, S.C. her true and lawful attorney to prosecute her claim and procure the issuance of a pension certificate to her. That her post office address is Anderson Court House, County of Anderson, State of South Carolina and her domicile is the same state and county.
Nancy Ashley X her mark
Witnesses: John E. Breazeale
Wiley Mitchel X his mark

Also personally appeared John E. Breazeale and Wiley Mitchel, both of the County of Anderson S.C. persons whom I certify to be respectable and entitled to credit, and who being by me duly sworn says they were present and saw Nancy Ashley the claimant sign her name by making her mark to the foregoing declaration; that they have every reason to believe, from their appearance of said claimant, and they are acquainted with her, that she is the identical person she represents herself to be; that at no time during the late rebellion against the authority of the united states did she adhear to the cause of the enemies of the government, give them aid or comfort, and that they have no interest in the prosecution of this claim. 13 September 1871 John E. Breazeale
Wiley Mitchel X his mark
A.O. Norris (?)Judge of Probate

South Carolina
Anderson County

Personally appeared before me William Bannister and was duly sworn
before me deposeth and saith that he is a citizen of the aforesaid County and is about eighty six years old and that he was and is now acquainted with Nancy Ashley who was Nancy Pruitt before she was married and that the said Nancy Pruitt did marry Thomas Ashley as he was present and saw them married and that they so lived as long as said Thomas Ashley lived; and William Bannister further swears that this identical Thomas Ashley was in the War of Eighteen Hundred and Twelve and that he was in the Company of Capt. Jacob Reed and knows that he was mustered into service and that he did go and was honorably
discharged,believes that he was in Earles (?) Regiment and says further on
oath that the said Nancy Ashley is the widow of the said Thomas Ashley. Sworn to and subscribed before me this April 12, 1871
R.N. Wright, Trial Justice, William Bannister, X his mark

The within affadavit was made by an Old Soldier who was in service with Thomas Ashley: The State of South Carolina, County of Anderson:

Personally appeared before me Moses Ashley aged seventy one years of
age, and Francis Pruett over seventy years of age, and being duly sworn
says they were well acquainted with Thomas Ashley the late husband of
Mary (?) Ashley, who makes application for Widows Pension under Act of
14th Feby 1871 (No. 6581) and on oath says that during the War of 1812
he enlisted in the service of the united states and left his home with a company of soldiers, and was absent for more than three months and returned back home with the company and among others in the same company was Michael Tarploy (?), Archey Shaw, Owen Freaman, Samuel Jones and Moses Ashley, but each one of these have long since died. Neither of the deponents were in the service
of this war, but they resided in the neighbornood with Thomas Ashley and know he left with other soldiers for the war and was gone over three months, and returned back with the soldiers, and that he ws known and recognized by
all as one of the soldiers; we have heard him in frequent conversations
with the old soldiers in which they would related and speak of marches and the incidents of the camps and that he was at all times and by all who was acquainted with him known to be a soldier of the said war; and these deponents have no doubts of the correctness of the claim Mary (?) Ashley his widow; for there can be no doubt that Thomas Ashley was a soldier in said war; he joined the ____in Abbeville County but where he mustered into service and where he was discharged they cannot say.

Moses Ashley Senior and Francis Pruitt, X his mark

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 21st day of
August 1872. R.?
Wright, Trial Justice A.C. S.S.

Pension Rejected Dec 21, 1872 for insufficient information or proof of
service of Thomas Ashley, whose name was not found on the rolls of Capt.
Reed's Company in available records.

NOTES: Malinda Ashley b. ca 1822 in SC, who married Reuben BROCK may have been a daughter of Thomas Ashley and Nancy Pruitt.....

Name: Malinda ASHLEY Sex: F Birth: 9 JUN 1822 in South Carolina Death: 19 MAR 1902 in Anderson Co., South Carolina

I am not a direct descendant of these families, but have collected information from research about the Ashley families who lived in Abbeville and Anderson county, South Carolina in trying to find out who my Reuben Ashley's parents were. However, have not found the exact link yet. From DNA testing, my Ashleys came from that group of Ashleys who migrated from Kent Co. Maryland to the Abbeville, South Carolina area.

Thomas Ashley was the son of William A. Ashley and Agness Ann, last name not known. This is some info about William A. Ashley:

1800 census Abbeville County, South Carolina

William Ashley Abbeville Dist 17
4 males under age 10
1 male age 10 - 16
1 male over age 45
2 females under age 10
2 females ages 10 - 16
1 female over age 45

1810 census Abbeville County, South Carolina

William ASHLEY

3 males ages 16 - 26
1 male age 45 +
2 females ages 10 - 16
1 female age 16 - 26
1 female age 45 +

** Notes: William Ashley served in the Revolutionary War, Continental Army, Maryland Service.
NOTES: Maryland Revolutionary War Records
William Ashley, Corpl, Continental Line; date of birth: 1757

Ashley, William - Application for reinstatement of Revolutionary War Pension - 1830
State of South Carolina}
Abbeville District} In the Court of Common Pleas

To wit On the twenty Seventh day of October one thousand eight hundred and thirty, personally appeared in open court, being a court of record for the District aforesaid, in the said State and which Court proceeded according to the course of the Common Law with a jurisdiction unlimited in point of amount. Keeping a record of its proceedings. William Ashley, a resident of the said District, aged seventy three years, who being first duly sworn according to law, doth on his oath make the following
declaration, in order to obtain the provision made by the Act of Congress of the eighteenth of March eighteen hundred and eighteen, and the first of May eighteen hundred and twenty.

That he the said William Ashley entered as a Corporal for the term of sixteen months on the fourteenth day of May in the year 1778 in the State of Maryland in the company commanded by Captain Legon, in the Regiment commanded by Colonel Baron
Bowe, which Regiment was under the command of General Count Polaski in the line of the State Of Maryland on the Continental establishment. That he continued to serve in the said corps until September 1779 when he was discharged from
service in the State aforesaid, that he hereby relinquished every claim whatever to a pension except the present. That his name has been placed on the Pension List, that the number of his pension certificate is 2932 and that he never before exhibited a
schedule of his property because your petitioner was old and infirm and thought before he could be reinstated on the pension list he would be removed by providence from this world, ( ^ written above at this point: and further that he was of weak
judgment), and having been informed that an individual holding land could not draw a pension and as he, as will be seen by his schedule below, was a holder of a tract of Land, although inconsiderable in point of value, thought useless to exhibit a schedule
or apply for a pension. And in pursuance of the Act of the first of May 1820, I do solemnly swear that I was a resident citizen of the United States on the eighteenth of March 1818 and that I have not since that time by gift, sale or in any manner disposed
of my property or any part thereof with intent thereby so to diminish it as to bring myself within the provisions of an Act of Congress entitled Act to Provide for certain persons engaged in the land and naval service of the United States in the
Revolutionary War. Passed on the eighteenth day of March 1818 and that I have not, nor has any person in trust for me any property or securities contracts or debts due to me nor have any income other than what is contained in the schedule hereto
annexed and by me subscribed.

Two hundred and twenty nine acres of poor land worth .................................................... $100.00

Three head of horses (one mare and two colts) worth ............................................................ 60.00

Five head of sheep worth .......................................................................... .................................5.00

Nine head of hogs worth .......................................................................... .............................. 14.00

Seven head of cattle including 2 cows & calves 3 yearlings worth ...................................... 25.00

One negro man 42 years of age worth .......................................................................... ....... 250.00


And at the same time I justly owe the following

debt and interest thereon for 3 years & eleven months 421.86

by note which note was given for the price of the Int. 111.54

aforesaid negro man to Charles Starke


Which leaves your petitioner in debt $ 79.40

He further swears that he is by occupation a farmer and has been ever since he left the army. That his family consists of three persons viz. himself, his wife Ann and an old negro man, that he himself is now seventy three years of age and is badly crippled
in his right arm and leg so as to be utterly unable to maintain himself that his wife is sixty nine years of age and badly afflicted with the asthmatic affection, and has been so for about seven years and is entirely unable to maintain herself, and is an expense
and great trouble; the negro man is forty two years of age and as stout as men usually are at his age though somewhat on the decline. That since the eighteenth day of March 1818 the following changes have been made in my property, at that time I was possessed of a tract of land of seventy one and one fourth acres two head of horses, four head of cattle and nine head of hogs;
that land was sold by me to Martin Fralix in 1820 for the sum of three hundred and eighty dollars in money but good and sufficient title were not made until the twenty second day of September in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and
twenty eight as will be seen by reference to the authenticated copy of the Deed of Conveyance of the said land herewith exhibited and a mare rated at eighty dollars and after paying the debts that I then owed which was about sixty dollars the
balance was applied to the purchase of the tract of land that I now live on. I have had five head of horses to die since that time and four head of cattle as to other small changes that have taken place I cannot precisely recollect however they have been of a trivial nature and to a very small amount.

Sworn to and declared on the twenty his seventh day of October 1830 in open court William Ashley X his mark

South Carolina }

Abbeville District }

I Josiah Evans one of the Circuit Judges of the said State presiding at Abbeville, October Term 1830 do hereby certify that I am satisfied with the correctness of the valuation of his property as set forth in the within declaration & that it is subject to the
debts therein specified.

27 Oct 1830 Josiah J. Evans

State of South Carolina }

Abbeville District }

I James Wardlaw Clerk of the Court of Common Pleas for said District do hereby certify that it appears to the satisfaction of the Court that the said William Ashley did serve in the Revolutionary War as stated in the preceding declaration against the
common enemy for the term of nine months or more under one engagement on the continental establishment. I also certify that the foregoing oath and the schedule thereunto annexed are truly copied from the record of the said Court and I do further
certify that it is the opinion of the Court that the total amount in value of the property exhibited in the aforesaid schedule is four hundred and fifty four Dollars, subject to the debt and interest due to Charles Starke as aforesaid to the amount of five hundred and thirty three dollars forty cents.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed the seal of the said Court at Abbeville Court House this twenty seventh day of October in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty and in the fifty sixth year of the
Independence of the United States of America.
Jas Wardlaw. Clerk

From "Rev. War Soldiers and Other Patriot records of Abbeville County, SC":

William Ashley and Agnes Ashley, Pension number W 9708, Continental
Maryland Service: William Ashley appeared before Hon. Waddy Thompson, esquire, one of the Judges of the court of Equity for the State of South Carolina
stating he is a citizen of Abbeville, South Carolina; that he served 16 months as a Corporal upon the Continental establishment during the war of the Revolution; that he enlisted in Maryland about the middle of May 1778 in Captain Seagong's (?) Company in the squadron of Cavalry commanded by Col Cowatch (?); attached to the body of troops called Pulaski's Corp, that he afterwards commanded by Capt. Brown, until middle of September 1779 when he was discharged at Beufort, South Carolina. Sworn to Aug 11, 1818....

Affidavit of Thos. Dove, 1818 Abbeville, SC who states he has been acquainted with the said soldier since 1779, shortly after he left the army, that he has frequently heard Ashley's discharge read, and believes that he did serve in the Revolution. Affidavit made by Joshua Ashley in Abbeville Dist., SC Aug 6, 1818 states he is a brother of the said William Ashley, that he resided in Maryland with his brother at the time he enlisted and was frequently acquainted with the fact that his said brother was absent for several years, and that he was discharged at Beufort, South Carolina and that several soldiers who served with his brother and on their return to the state of Maryland, informed this deponent that they had left his brother yet in the service.

William Ashley states his family consists of three persons viz: himself, his wife Ann and an old negro man, that he himself is now age 73, that his wife is age 69.
He gave a schedule of his property among which 229 acres of poor land worth $100. one negro man age 42 worth $250., etc. He signed this in 1830. A copy of deed is filed of Wm. Ashley Senior of Abbeville District to Martin Fralia (?) of said district, consideration $380. dated 1828; his wife Anne Ashley signed Sept 30, 1828. It was recorded in 1830. (Record book 13 page 450 at Abbeville District, SC). Affadavit of C. Stark in 1829 states that said Wm. Ashley owes him for a negro man on a note bearing date 11-25-1826 the sum of $421.

The widow Agness Ashley made application 1838 as the widow of William Ashley, and states she was married to said Wm. Ashley January 1781, and that her said husband died March 3, 1838, that her third child now living is age 60.
The widow stated in 1845 that from bodily infirmity that she cannot attend court, but can spin cotton upon a little wheel at home, that her residence was 12 miles away. 2 neighbors to her were Wm and James Wire. That these witnesses state they have known soldier and present widow since 1792, and have been their neighbors all this long period until 1845 Sept 4th, and know they had 2 or 3 children when they first became acquainted with them. The widow states she was christened by the name of Agness but her husband always called her "Ann" for shortness, and her neighbors always called her "Ann" that some of her relatives named their children Ann, through friendly regards to her, that whenever her husband sold land, she always signed her name "Agness" to her relinquishment of dower.

Agness Ashley - Application for Revolutionary War Widow's benefits

In order to obtain the benefits of the Act of Congress of the 7th July 1838 entitled "An Act granting half pay and pensions to certain Widows"

State of South Carolina }
Abbeville District }

On this fourth day of September one thousand eight hundred and forty five personally appeared before me David Lesly Judge of the Court of Ordinary for the District and State aforesaid Agness Ashley a resident of the District and State aforesaid aged eighty three years who being first duly sworn according to law doth on her oath, make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the provisions made by the act of Congress passed July 7, 1838 entitled "An Act granting half pay and pensions to Certain Widows." That she is the widow of William Ashley whose services in the Revolutionary War are on file as she believes in the Pension Office of the United States as he was a pensioner of the United States and that all the papers relative to the said pension are lost to which documentary proof she refers for the services of her deceased husband. She further declares that she was married to the said William Ashley in the month of January in the year seventeen hundred and eighty one that her husband , the aforesaid William Ashley, died on the third day of March one thousand eight hundred and thirty nine, that she was not (the preceding "not" was crossed out. See correction below) married to her said husband, William Ashley, prior to his leaving the service and that her marriage took place previous to the first of January seventeen hundred and ninety four viz at the time above stated, and that she has remained a widow since the death of her husband William Ashley aforesaid, that her third child, now living is sixty years of age , that she is poor and in destitute circumstances , and earns her support by her daily labor , that she desires to be admitted to the benefit of all arrears of pension due to her deceased husband as well as to the benefit of this and other subsequent Acts of Congress for the relief of the Widows of Revolutionary Soldiers.

The word "not" erased before signing } Agness (X her mark) Ashley
Sworn to and subscribed, on the day }
And year above written. }
Before David Lesly, Judge of the Court of Ordinary for Abbeville District

South Carolina }
Abbeville District } Personally appeared before me, William Wire and James Wire who made oath that they have been acquainted with William Ashley the dec'd pensioner and his wife Agness Ashley the applicant since the year seventeen hundred and ninety two, that the deponants were near neighbors of the said William Ashley and Agness Ashley his wife, and that during this long period of time, they the said William Ashley and Agness Ashley lived together as husband and wife and were so reputed and acknowledged by the entire neighborhood. That they the said William Ashley and Agness Ashley his wife had two or three children when deponants first became acquainted with them and these deponants further saith that the said William Ashley and Agness Ashley his wife were properly and legally married and that the said William Ashley was always regarded as a worthy soldier of the Revolutionary War and that the present application of his widow Agness Ashley is just and meritorious.

Sworn before me } Wm Wire
4 September 1845 }
David Lesly } James Wire Judge of Ordinary ,Abbeville. Dist. }

Affadavit of Sophia Smith in 1845 at Abbeville Dist., SC states "I am the daughter of Agness Ashley and her third child, that according to the register of my birth and marriage in my family bible, I was born 3-3-1785, and I was married 1808 to Daniel Smith; states that this handwriting of the register is in the handwriting of her husband who is absent, and who has been absent for three years, and his affadavit cannot be secured. Affadavit by Thos. P. Spierin, Abbeville, SC who states that the following are truly copied from the family bible of Mrs. Sophia Smith viz: "Daniel Smith was born 7-2-1789, married to Sophia Ashley 1808. Sophia Ashley was born 1785 March 3. This affadavit was signed Dec 26, 1845 by Thos. P. Spierin. The said family bible was sent in for proof but the request of its return was made, so it is not in this file note.

The 2 persons James and Wm. Wire state that they were brothers and that they with "our father and mother took shipping at Larn in Ireland in the month of February 1790 and came to Abbeville District where they resided the same year, removed to the neighborhood and within half a mile of said William Ashley and Agness his wife, the claimant have been personally their neighbors from the month of Oct 1790 to the present time. That I have a sister who was born on the Ocean on our passage to this country and that she is age 56 since Jan last, that my brother William Wire who deposes with myself in this matter heretofore died in the month of October last, and that he with myself deposed, generally without deeming it requisite to state particular facts as appears to be required by the Commissioner of pensions. I further state the said Agness Ashley is the widow of said William Ashley, who was a pensioner of the U.S. and that his widow goes by the name of Ann than Agness. Signed by James Wire, 1846 March 6th.

The bible was returned by the pension commissioner 1877 Oct 2nd, to Mrs. Sarah Ashley, Antreville, post office, Abbeville County, SC. The following is a copy of the bible records:

Daniel Smith was born 7-2-1789 and married Sophiah Ashley 1808
Sophia Smith was born 1785
Elizabeth Smith was born 11-4-1805 (?)
Danl Smith born 7-2-1789 and married 1808
Agnes Smith born 1-30-1809
Rich. Smith 8-17-1810
Joshua Smith 1-7-1812
Mary Ann born 11-13-1813 died 7-1816
Sharlotte Smith born 2-22-1816
Rebecca Smith born 8-17-1810
John Smith born 1-7-1812
Danl. Smith born 1-6-1824

Department of the Interior
Pension Office
Washington, D.C. Aug 14, 1877

Dear Sir
Please furnish this office with the names and present P.O. address of some of the descendants of Agnes Ashley Wid of William Ashley a Corpl in Rev War.

The Widow made application for pension in 1844 and a Bible was sent to this Office to be filed in evidence. It is now desired to return this Bible to the family who formerly resided at or near your town.

Please return this letter with your reply in the enclosed envelope.

Post Master } Very Respectfully
At Abbeville C.H. (name not legible)

Abbeville Co. }
S. C. } Acting Commissioner
The name of Mrs. Sarah Ashley wrote to the Commissioner on the back of his letter, that she received the Bible, all right. "

A Sarah A. Ashley appears on the 1880 census of Abbeville
Co., SC, Diamond Hill Township (the area of Antreville)
Dwelling # 338 Family # 346. She, aged 60 and widowed, and
her daughter Rebecca Ashley, aged 35 and single, are living in
the household of Levi Gilmore aged 30. Gilmore has a wife and
5 children. Sarah's relationship to William Ashley is unknown currently.

From Abbeville County, SC Wills and Bonds:
William Ashley Sr. and Anna - - Will dated Apr. 7, 1837 in Abbeville
Dist. Proved Sept 29, 1849. Exr: Wife: Agnes. Wits: Jas. Black,
Addline E., Margaret Burnett. Wid. Anna died in 1849. John T. Hadden
sheweth that Mrs. Anna Ashley died leaving a small estate which is
principally indebted to Mrs. Smith for care and attention for many
years. the deceased being helpless. The said Mrs. Smith being her
daughter. June 12, 1851 Mrs. Sophia Smith $86.27. Sale Oct 20,
1849. Byrs: John Smith, Joshua, Edward, Wm. Ashley, Jackson Shaw,
Moses, Aaron, John, Richard Ashley, S.M. Fisher. etc. (Box 113
Pack 3327)

Notes from Dennis Smith of SC (1999)
In his will, William Ashley gave his wife a life estate in his small
farm so his will wasn't probated until after her death. In 1849 his
daughter Sophia Smith filed a petition in partition, asking that the
farm be sold and the proceeds be distributed.
A summons in partition was issued, dated 1 Jan 1850, which named the
other heirs. Of the other heirs, the following "resided without the
state (of SC): Sarah Gantt, Elizabeth Ashley, Anna Harris, Patsy Shaw,
Polly Pruitt, and the "widow & children of Wm Ashley, Jr. decd"

The general summons (in the partition matter mentioned [previously])
lists all of the heirs of William Ashley, Sr.:
"To Sophia Smith, Sarah Gantt, Elizabeth Ashley, Anna Harris & husband
Jno. Harris, Patsy Shaw, Jonathan Pruitt, Polly his wife, Lila Ashley &
Nancy Ashley, heirs and legatees of William Ashley, Sr. dec'd or
diveses - greeting..."

Sophy Smith and Nancy Ashley signed an acceptance of service.
The summons to the out-of-state heirs reads:
"It appearing to my satisfaction that Sarah Gantt, Eliz Ashley, Anna
Harris, Patsy Shaw & Polly Pruitt and the widow & children of Wm.
Ashley, Jr. dec'd defendants reside without the state. It is therefore
ordered that they do appear and object to the division or sale of the
Real Estate of Wm Ashley Jr. dec'd on or before the 1st of Jany 1850 or
their consent to the same will be entered of record.
Two of the heirs signed acceptance of service. All of the others are
named in the out of state summons except ** Lila Ashley **. Her name
is replaced with "widow and children of Wm Ashley, Jr. dec'd"

In the 1820 Abbeville District, SC census there was a William Ashley,
Sr family [1 male 45+ and 1 female 45+] and a William Ashley Jr. family
[5 males 0-10, 1 male 18-28, 1 female 0-10 and 1 female 16-26]

In the 1830 Abbeville District, SC census there is only one William Ashley
aged 70-80 with female (wife) aged 60-70 and two boys aged 15-20
(possibly two grandsons and since only one adult son died in his
lifetime, these could have been William Jr's sons)

Roster of soldiers receiving pension in South Carolina in 1835
AGE 71

In the Abbeville Dist, SC census of 1840 there is a William Ashley as head of household. In this household there are 1 male under 5, three males ages 20-30, and one female age 20-30. This family is not living near the other Ashley families but is living next to a Jane Donald whose household consists of herself and 20 slaves May have been one other with spelling variation not indexed, research continuing on this one; need better quality copy of this census from microfilm.

Note: William Sr. came from MD to SC during the American Revolution. Over the next 20 years, all five of his brothers and their families joined him in Abbeville Co. SC.
NOTES: Abbeville County, South Carolina Wills Index from South Carolina State Archives

Date: 1837/04/07
Type: WILL

NOTES for further research: Cador Gantt is mentioned in several estate records in connection with the ASHLEY families in Abbeville Co. SC. Not sure what, if any relationship that he had to them:

Marriage and Death Notices from Baptist Newspapers of South Carolina, 1835-1865
Southern Baptist
Issue of January 10, 1849
page 17 Baptist Marriages and Deaths, South Carolina, 1835-1865, p.16
Departed this life, on Saturday, the 2d of December, 1848, at his residence in Abbeville District, the Rev. Cador Gantt, in the seventy-seventh year of his age…born in North Carolina, but was removed when young, by his father to Abbeville District, and settled near the Little River Baptist church. He married to Sarah Pratt, who was also a member of that church, who is left an aged widow, now four-score and nine years.

Marriage and Death Notices from Baptist Newspapers of South Carolina, 1835-1865
Southern Baptist
Issue of June 15, 1858
page 78 Baptist Marriages and Deaths, South Carolina, 1835-1865, p.80
Died at her residence in Abbeville District, S. C., on 22nd May, Sarah, the consort of Rev. Cador Gantt, in the 103rd year of her age, as near as she could recollect. She was a member of Turkey Creek church

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