As noted in my previous blog, you will encounter “problems” when researching your ancestors that lived before 1850 — and that includes my Ashley ancestors!
There are documents available on-line but mainly one has to rely on published family histories. Many of these family histories have been scanned and downloaded to a website called archive.org.
On archive.org for the Ashley family, I found a publication called Ashleys of America. It was a quarterly newsletter published from October 1970 until the Fall of 1974 *** by Ashleys of America, Inc., the family association founded in 1970.
*** Recently I’ve found evidence that the quarterly newsletter continued to be published after the Fall of 1974, but I haven’t found the subsequent issues posted on-line 😦
The other resource for published family histories is familysearch.org. It is a free family history website provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
On familysearch.org, I found a publication called, Old Colony Ashleys – the Descendants of Abraham and Joseph Ashley of Rochester, Massachusetts, by Robert Ellsworth Ashley, president of Ashleys of America, Inc.
Robert relied heavily on the research done by Ralph “Eugene” Ashley who spent more than 30 years gathering documentation and interviewing members of the Ashley family.
Click on the thumbnail to the right to read the Preface of Old Colony Ashleys which explains more about the research done by Eugene and Robert Ashley.
Using this and other resources, I’ve traced my Ashley ancestors back to Joseph Ashley from Rochester, Plymouth County, Massachusetts (USA).
I spent the better part of this last week researching and writing a blog about Joseph’s ancestors.
I found “evidence” and was almost certain that Joseph’s parents are William Ashley and Elizabeth Batson of Wells, Maine (USA). And that William’s parents are Thomas and Johanna Ashley, originally from Merrymeeting Bay, Maine (USA) but who then moved to Boston, Massachusetts.
I was about to publish the blog when I found compelling evidence that Joseph’s parents may actually have been Edward Ashley and Mary Hallowell who lived in Boston, Massachusetts, from about 1674 to 1695.
Suddenly, I was immersed in stories about how Joseph’s ancestors may have been pirates!!
Clearly I have more researching to do about Joseph’s ancestors LOL! So my next blog will be about Joseph Ashley and his descendants.