This is the story of my great, great, great, great grandparents, Alden Ashley and Rheuamy Green. Alden was born on 6 Mar 1783 in the town of Chatham, Columbia County, New York (USA) — the seventh of twelve children of Noah Ashley and Rebecca Reynolds. According to her memorial page on findagrave and family trees on the Web, Rheuamy was born on 14 Nov 1788 in Cattaraugus, Cattaraugus County, New York (USA). The 1855 New York State Census for Rheuamy and Ashley on familysearch.org also says that she was born in Cattaraugus. The problem is that Cattaraugus County wasn’t founded until 1808 — 20 years after Rheuamy was born! So I can only conclude that she was born in the area that became Cattaraugus County!?? As well, despite a fairly exhaustive search, I have not been able to determine Rheuamy’s ancestry. There are many references to Green families /individuals who lived in New York State but I couldn’t “connect” Rheuamy definitively to any of them. It could be because her name is spelled different ways in documents and in on-line family trees (e.g. Reuamy, Ruanna, Ruama, etc.). Even her children couldn’t agree on what her name is LOL!. On her son, Horatio’s death certificate, it says that her name is Mary Green and on her daughter Perlina’s, Elizabeth Green!! Perhaps a family genealogist in the future will be able to determine who Rheuamy’s parents are and to trace the Green family back to it’s origins. I also do not know exactly when or where Noah married Rheuamy but it was likely before their first child was born LOL! — which was in 1807. All of their children were born in Chatham, Columbia County, New York (USA):
- Albania Ashley (b: 18 Dec 1807)
- Alvania Ashley (b: 12 Aug 1809)
- Betsey Ashley (b: 21 Jul 1811)
- Caroline Ashley (b: 15 May 1813)
- Amy Ashley (b: 13 Nov 1814)
- Lewis Ashley (b: 31 Oct 1816)
- Jerman Ashley (b: 20 Aug 1818)
- Alden Ashley (b: 25 Jul 1821)
- Nelson Green Ashley (b: 21 Jul 1823)
- Nancy Mariah Ashley (b: 1 Apr 1825) – my great, great, great grandmother
- Perlina “Jane” Ashley (b: 1 Jul 1827)
- Horatio R Ashley (abt 1829)
- Almira Ashley (abt 1830)
- Mary Ann Ashley (b: 21 Jan 1834)
- Floralle R.
This might be a good time to mention my frustration because I have not been able to find original documents to “prove” the vital statistics (i.e. dates of birth, death, marriage) of my ancestors who lived in New York State in the late 1700s and early 1800s. Instead I’ve had to rely on published family histories. Personally, I don’t accept anything as “true” unless I see the original entry/document created at the time of a person’s birth, death or marriage. I only hope that the authors of these histories found the original documents! And now, back to the story of Alden and Rheuamy Green Ashley —- For his entire life, Alden lived and farmed in the Town of Chatham, Columbia County, New York (USA). Chatham is at the northern border of Columbia County. The early settlers were Dutch, but later Quakers and New Englanders arrived. The Town of Chatham was formed from the Towns of Canaan and Kinderhook in 1795 and is made up of several small hamlets. According to an article in Ashleys of America by Gerald Ashley Cooper, Alden’s farm was about 100 acres, mostly in the town of Chatham — in the area still known today as “Ashley Hill”. There is a family burial plot on the land with 11 graves. Three of the gravemarkers have names on them and 8 are just plain native stones. Gerald Cooper opined that Alden’s father, Noah, may have owned the land before Alden and that Alden was likely born on this farm and buried there. The 1855 Agricultural Census lists the following for Alden:
- Acres of land – improved = 73
- Acres of land – unimproved = 30
- Cash value of farm = $3,000
- Value of farming implements and machinery = $200
- Horses = 2; milch cows = 5; working oxen = 2; other cattle =2; sheep = 15; swine = 13;
- Value of Livestock = $360
- Rye, bushels of = 100; indian corn, bushels of = 200; oats, bushels of = 250
- Wool, lbs of = 60
- Irish potatoes, bushels of = 80; buckwheat, bushels of = 50,
- Butter, lbs of = 500
- Hay, tons of = 30
- Value of homemade manufactures = $20
- Value of animals slaughtered = $130
The following are links to the other census documents for Alden Ashley and his family (all from Chatham, Columbia County): 1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850 Alden died on 25 Aug 1856 when he was 72 years old. It is not known where he is buried but he may be buried on the farm that he owned in Chatham (Columbia County). His will was probated on 26 Nov 1856 in New York State. Click on the thumbnail to read a transcription of the probate notice that was published in the Albany NY Evening Journal.
After Alden died, Rheuamy moved at least twice to live with her children.
By 1860, she is living with her daughter, Betsey Ashley Mosher, in Whiteford, Monroe, Michigan (USA). Then by September of 1869, Rheuamy moved to Sylvania, Lucas County, Ohio (USA) to live with her daughter, Albania Ashley Roberts. Rheuamy died in Sylvania on 15 Sep 1869 and is buried with her daughter, Albania, and Albania’s family in the Association Cemetery in Sylvania, Lucas County, Ohio (USA).