Ashford Family

William Haemer Ashford’s Mother

Who was William Haemer Ashford’s Mother?

William Ashford’s death certificate says he was born in 1851 in Kentucky; his father’s name was also William and his mother’s maiden name was “Butsher”. His grandson, Rod’s father Delbert Ashford, said his real name was Haemer, not William. The birth certificate of William Melvin ‘Mel’ Ashford, son of William Ashford, lists his father’s name as William Hama.

Fact 1: The 1850 census for Ravenswood, Virginia lists a Maria Ashford born about 1813 with sons Geo B. born about 1845 and Rufus born about 1848. Rufus’ Find-A-Grave page (100954068) lists his date of birth as April 18, 1849. Maria and Rufus were born in Virginia, and George in Illinois. The same census lists a Maria born about 1813 living in Wood County, Virginia with sons John born about 1835, George born about 1844 and Rufus born about 1848. Maria, John, and Rufus were born in Virginia. George was born in Illinois. Apparently, she was counted twice.

Fact 2: The 1860 census for Wheelersburg, Ohio lists a Mariah Ashford born about 1822 with a son named Haemer born about 1848 (Note: William Ashford’s death certificate said his birth year was 1851). Also listed is another son named George born about 1843 and a daughter Hazen born about 1852. Mariah and George were born in Virginia, and Haemer and Hazen were born in Kentucky.

Fact 3: The 1870 census for Wheelersburg, Ohio lists a Maria Ashford born about 1820 with sons Rufus K born about 1848, Hayes E. born about 1855, and Lorenzo E. born about 1860. Next door to Maria is a George Ashford born about 1844, his wife Sarah, son Sheridan born about 1869, and daughter Maggie age 11 months. Maria and Rufus were born in Virginia, Hayes E. was born in Kentucky and Lorenzo was born in Ohio. George was born in Illinois, Sarah, Sheridan, and Maggie born in Ohio.

Fact 4: The 1880 census for Wheelersburg, Ohio lists a Maria Ashford born about 1816 with son Lorenzo D. born about 1859 and grandson Sheridan born about 1869. Maria and her father were born in Virginia. Her mother was born in New Jersey. Lorenzo and Sheridan were born in Ohio. Interestingly, Sheridan’s mother and father were both born in Ohio, while Lorenzo’s father was born in Illinois and his mother was born in Ohio. So much for accuracy in the census data.

Fact 5: The 1880 census in Hamilton, Warren County, Ohio lists a George B. Ashford born about 1845, his wife Sarah born about 1850, his son Sheridan D. born about 1868, his daughter Ella L. born about 1870, his daughters Lora D. born about 1871, Lucy D. born about 1876 and Georgie born about 1878. George and both his parents were born in Virginia. His wife and children were all born in Ohio.

The strange thing about these census data is that there is never a husband listed for Maria(h)!

There is a Mariah Butcher born in 1815 to Ely Butcher in Virginia. She married John Ashford of Kentucky on September 12, 1833. Ely Butcher was the son of Samuel Butcher Jr. In Ely Butcher’s handwritten will he names his daughter Mariah Ashford. Mariah Ashford, the widow of Ashford, is listed in the list of Civil War surviving veterans and widows for Wheelersburg, Ohio in 1890. However, her name is scratched out and the notation by it reads “Conf”. On the same page, it is tabulated that Mr. Ashford died in the service. I would suggest that this is the John Ashford Mariah Butcher married. It is possible that the notation “Conf’ means he fought for the Confederacy

List of children:

Name Birth year Census year listed in this document:

  1. John (m) b. 1835 1850
  2. Claiborne (m) b. 1837 1850
  3. George (m) b. 1845 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880
  4. Haemer (m) b. 1848 1860
  5. Rufus (m) b. 1849 1850, 1870
  6. Hazen (f) b. 1852 1860
  7. Hayes (m) b. 1855 1870
  8. Lorenzo E.(D) b. 1859 1870, 1880

Claiborne is the only child not listed in the census listed above. He is enumerated with his grandfather Ely Butcher in the 1850 census for Randolph County, Virginia. Claiborne’s marriage record dated December 24, 1868 in Pocahontas County, West Virginia states that his mother and father were John Ashford and Mariah Ashford.

The first census William Ashford is listed in is the 1880 census for Oregon. His age is listed as 29 (born 1851). He was born in Kentucky and his parents were both born in Virginia.

In the census data listed above, the common themes are the name Maria(h) and Wheelersburg, Ohio with the same basic set of children. In Fact 1 she is listed twice as being born about 1813. In Fact 4 she is listed as being born about 1816 which is well within the tolerance allowed for census data.

In Fact 2, which lists her with a son named Haemer, her birth year is about 1822 and in Fact 3 her birth year is about 1820.
Roma Gay Leaming Judge, the granddaughter of William and Amanda Ashford, did extensive research on the Ashford surname. Roma recorded a Mariah Butcher, daughter of Ely Butcher, married to a John Ashford. In Roma’s documentation, there is a photocopy of a page containing this marriage information. She does not give the source for this page.

Rod found it hard to believe that there were two Maria(h)s with children having the same names. If there is only one Maria(h) she didn’t know her age (or was misunderstood) in the 1860 and 1870 census (Facts 2 and 3).

Another fact significant to this subject is that my DNA matches eight descendants of Samuel Butcher Sr. Five of these Rod had been able to verify their pedigree charts and the other three only list partial or no sources for the information, so he did not pursue them.

Samuel Butcher Jr., son of Samuel Butcher Sr., had eleven children: Ely, Urah, Thomas, Peyton, Tasy, John, Bailess, Susannah, Anna, Deborah, and Hannah. Ely had a daughter Mariah born on May 26, 1815. She married a John Ashford on September 12, 1833 in Butcher’s Ferry, Randolph County, Virginia.

It was and still is a common practice to name a child one thing and then call them by their middle name or a nickname. Was John Ashford’s real name, William John Ashford? We just don’t know. If we assume his real name included the name William and he married Mariah then the people listed below are my 3rd thru 5th cousins.

Rod is related via Ancestry.com DNA testing to the following Butcher descendants:

  • David Johnson’s 3rd Grandfather is Bailess Butcher.
  • perrymechelle1 (Ancestry name)’s 4th Great Grandmother is Susannah Butcher.
  • VentGK47 (Ancestry name) Cole’s 4th Great Grandmother is Anna Butcher.
  • Sarah Almeda Overfield’s great-grandfather is Samuel Butcher Sr.
  • Kathlene Bibbee’s 3rd Great Grandfather is Thomas Butcher

Using various genealogy tools available Rod was able to verify these Butcher genealogies. What relationship they are to him depends on who Haemer Ashford’s father was.