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FredQuest Genealogy

Samuel Ashley

Samuel Ashley (1664-1722)

Ashley Genealogy by Francis Bacon Trowbridge (1896)

SAMUEL ASHLEY (David, Robert), born 26 October 1664 in Springfield, Mass.; died 1722 in Westfield, Mass.; married 27 April 1686 in Hadley, Mass., SARAH KELLOGG; daughter of Lieut. Joseph and Joanna Kellogg, born 27 August 1666 in Hadley; died 30 January 1729 in Westfield.

Samuel Ashley settled in Westfield. He was a carpenter by trade, but naturally was engaged to a large extent in farming. He also kept the inn at Westfield for a number of years. He was a considerable land owner, and had a quarter interest in a gristmill at Two Mile Brook in company with his brother Dea. David Ashley and Lieut. James Dewey.

"At a Meeting of the Governor and Council held at Hartford February 2lst, 1748: Upon the consideration of two letters from Major Myndert Schuyler of Albany, dated Dec. 6th and 14th, giving an account of five of our horses which he sent by Mr. Samuel Ashley of Westfield (which were delivered by said Ashley to Major Talcott), with the charge he had been at upon them, amounting to three pounds, six shillings and six pence, and of one sorrel horse which he still hath in his custody and would buy; as also of more horses belonging to this colony, which are still in the neighborhood of Albany.

And whereas Mr. Samuel Ashley designs speedily to go to Albany, it is agreed that the Govr give him power to demand, receive and make Sale for the use of this Colony of any horses belonging to this Colony, which he can come at there, with instructions that if he judges it most for the advantage of the Colony to bring them down, rather than sell them, that he bring them accordingly, with such other directions as may be proper.”

During Queen Anne's War, June 9, 1712, it was decided "to fort" three houses in the town as a protection against the Indians, and Samuel Ashley's house was one of those selected "to be forted."

In 1719 he sold to his brother David half the homelot which bad belonged to their father. His name appears either as grantor or grantee in a large number of deeds of land during his residence in Westfield.

Samuel Ashley was conspicuous in the management of town affairs and his name is to be seen in the records in various connections. He was elected tythingman in 1697, 1698 and 1703. On November 1, 1700, he was chosen with his brother Deacon David and two others a committee to build the schoolhouse. He was elected a selectman in 1703, 1704 and 1720. In 1709 he was elected town constable, but refused to serve. On March 8, 17134, he was appointed one of a committee of three to settle the bounds between Westfield and Springfield. He united with the Westfield church April 15, 1714, and was very active in its interests. He was appointed on the committee to build a new meeting-house in 1719, and, after its completion, was chosen a member of the seating committee in October, 1721. He continued to be interested in the welfare of the church up to his death, and his services were considered worthy of a special vote of the town after his death, which was presented to his widow.


i. MARY, b. 6 Mar. 1687; d. in infancy.

ii. SAMUEL, b. 3 NOV.1688.

iii. DANIEL, b. 7 Sept. 1691.

iv. SARAH, b. 11 Sept. 1693 ; ? d. in infancy.

v. RACHEL, b. 14 Feb. 1695; m. 3 June 1728, Samuel Kellogg of Westfield.

vi. JACOB, b. 24 Sept. 1697; with his brother Ezekiel witnessed a deed of their father in 1719, but did not appear to swear to his signature in 1727 when his brother was summoned, and probably had died before that year; unmarried.

vii. JOANNA, b. 6 Feb. 1699 ; m., lst, 24 May 1721, Joseph Taylor of Westfield and Sheffield, Mass.; 2d, 20 Dec. 1738, Dea. James Dewey of Westfield and Sheffield.

viii. EZEKIEL, b. 27 Apr. 1701.

ix. AARON, b. 1 Jan. 1702-3.

x. ABIGAIL, b. 23 May 1708 ; m. 8 Nov. 1732, Samuel Goodrich of Sheffield.

xi. JOSEPH, b. 11 Oct. 1709.

Source: Francis Bacon Trowbridge, The Ashley Genealogy, History of the Descendants of Robert Ashley of Springfield, Massachusetts, (Press of Tuttle, Morehouse & Taylor; 1896), page 24-26.

SAMUEL ASHLEY (Samuel, David, Robert), born 3 November 1688 in Westfield, Mass.; died probably about 1717 in Westfield; married about 1712 in Westfield, HANNAH DEWEY, daughter of Jedediah and Sarah (Orton) Dewey, and sister of the first wife of his uncle Capt. John Ashley, born 14 March 1685-6 in Westfield; died 14 February 1713-4 in Westfield.

Samuel Ashley settled in Westfield. He was chosen viewer for the north side of the river including Pochasicke" in 1713 and 1714. He united with the church in Westfield on April 18, 1714. He was a farmer.


i. HANNAH [twin], d. 19 Apr. 1714.

ii. A daughter [twin], b 7 Feb 1713-4 ; d. 20 Feb. 1713-4.

Source: Francis Bacon Trowbridge, The Ashley Genealogy, History of the Descendants of Robert Ashley of Springfield, Massachusetts, (Press of Tuttle, Morehouse & Taylor; 1896), page 34-35.

DANIEL ASHLEY (Samuel, David, Robert), born 7 September 1691 in Westfield, Mass.; died about October 1726 in Westfield; published intention of marriage 15 November 1718 in Westfield with Mrs. THANKFUL (HAWKS) TAYLOR, widow of Thomas Taylor of Deerfield, Mass., and daughter of Dea. Eleazer and Judith (Smead) Hawks, born 1690 in Deerfield. She married, 3d, 6 March 1728-9, Col. William Symes of Northfield, Mass.

Daniel Ashley settled in Westfield, where he engaged in farming. He was one of the original proprietors of the Lower Township (now Sheffield) on the Housatonic River, but no evidence has been found that he removed there with his family. The fact that his wife was a Deerfield woman caused him to visit that town occasionally, and he was appointed from there to attend the delegates from the Five Nations, who came to Albany in the summer of 1723 and were conducted to Boston to hold conference with the English commissioners. He is supposed to have lived in Westfield the remainder of his life.


i. SAMUEL, b. 20 Mar. 1720.

ii. MARTIN, b. 17 Sept. 1794.

Source: Francis Bacon Trowbridge, The Ashley Genealogy, History of the Descendants of Robert Ashley of Springfield, Massachusetts, (Press of Tuttle, Morehouse & Taylor; 1896), page 35-36.

LIEUT. EZEKIEL ASHLEY (Samuel, David, Robert), born 27 April 1701 in Westfield, Mass.; died on the Louisburg Expedition; married 5 November 1724 in Westfield, HANNAH GRISWOLD, daughter of Samuel and Susannah (Huntington) Griswold, born 30 April 1699 in Windsor, Conn. She married, 2d, --- Wright and was living in Norwich, Conn., in 1769.

Ezekiel Ashley with his brothers Daniel and Aaron was among the first proprietors of the present town of Sheffield, Mass., and probably removed his family there in 1728. He and John Pel1 surveyed and located the "old ore hill" in Salisbury, Conn., a tract of one hundred acres which was granted in October, 1731. In May, 1734, he, his uncle Capt John Ashley and others petitioned for a grant of one hundred acres of land lying west of the Housatonic River near a large pond known to the Indians by the name of Wonokopoko Pond. He also had an interest in the forge, iron works and water privileges in Sheffield. He styles himself "husbandman" and “gentleman" in deeds drawn about this time.

Ezekiel Ashley took a prominent part in the management of town affairs in Sheffield. He was chosen one of a committee of three on June 7,1734, to interview Rev. Mr. Devotion in regard to his settling in the ministry in Sheffield. At a town meeting held March 17, 1734-5, he was chosen moderator, and again at the annual meetings held in 1736, 1737 and 1738. At a town meeting held April 5, 1737, "Nathaniel Austin, Ezekiel Ashley and Daniel Kellogg were chosen a committee to represent the town to the late committee chosen to survey the town of Sheffield over again." At that meeting it was also a voted that Ezekiel Ashley shall build a good sufficient grist mill for the town use . . . to be built on the Iron Work River, a little above the iron works." August 7, 1738, “Ezekiel Ashley, Daniel Kellogg and Nathaniel Downing were chosen a committee to designate the seats in the meeting house and with Moses Ingersoll were chosen seaters in the meeting house." Ezekiel Ashley was also elected a selectman of the town in 1736 and 1738. In the winter of 1740 he calls himself "of Brookfield, Mass." He returned to Westfield the following year, and soon after removed with his family to Hartford, Conn.

Ezekiel Ashley had always taken interest in the military affairs of the several communities where he resided. Before his marriage he had served as trumpeter of Capt. Adijah Dewey's company of Westfield troopers from September 3 to September 25, 1723. While he was residing in Hartford, preparations began for the expedition against Cape Breton, and he volunteered his services to the Connecticut colony, which were accepted and "This Assembly do appoint Mr. Ezekiel Ashley to be Lieutenant of one [of] the military companies of recruits ordered by this Assembly to be raised for the Expedition against Cape Breton." “This Assembly orders that Ezekiel Ashley be appointed to be one of the lieutenants belonging to Capt. Adonijah Fitch's Company."

Lieutenant Ashley's commission was dated May 30, 1745. Whether he actually took part in the battle in which the undisciplined militia of New England seized Louisburg from the veteran troops of France the records do not state, but it is probable that he died while on service in the army.


i EZEKIEL, b. 3 Oct. 1726 in Westfield, Mass.

ii. HANNAH, b. 9 Jan. 1729: d. 2 Jan. 1730. ...

iii. JACOB. B. 1 Aug. 1732 ; d. 1 Dec. 1736.

iv. HANNAH, b. 3 Sept. 1785.

v. GRISSIL, b. 13 Mar. 1735 ; m. 17 Mar. 1755, Joseph Kelley of Norwich, Conn.

Source: Francis Bacon Trowbridge, The Ashley Genealogy, History of the Descendants of Robert Ashley of Springfield, Massachusetts, (Press of Tuttle, Morehouse & Taylor; 1896), page 36-38.

ENSIGN AARON ASHLEY (Samuel, David, Robert), born 1 January 1702-3 in Westfield, Mass.; died about 1780 in Sheffield, Mass.; published intention of marriage, lst, 20 May 1727 in Westfield, with BETHIA DEWEY, daughter of Capt. Adijah and Sarah (Root) Dewey, and sister of the wives of his brother Rev. Joseph and cousin David Ashley, born 11 August 1706 in Westfield; died probably about 1736 in Sheffield. He published intention of marriage, 2d, 2 September 1737 in Springfield, Mass., with SARAH DAY, daughter of Capt. John and Mary (Smith) Day, born 14 May 1708 in West Springfield, Mass.; died about 17?6 in ? Sheffield. He married, 3d, 12 June 1764 in Westfield, MEHITABLE TAYLOR, daughter of Eldad and Rhoda (Dewey) Taylor, born 4 August 1736 in Westfield ; died 15 November 1815 in Westfield.

Aaron Ashley first comes into notice as a soldier in Father Rasle’s War (1722-26). He served from May 13 to October 25, 1725, in Capt. John Ashley's company, “guarding Westfield" against an attack by the Indians. He was also a soldier in Capt. Samuel Barnard's company during the war.

For a year or two after his first marriage he lived probably in Westfield, for his wife united with the church there in October, 1728. He removed before the summer of 1732 to the new settlement on the Housatonic River, now the town of Sheffield, of which with his brothers Daniel and Ezekiel he was an original proprietor. He also owned land in Great Barrington. He styled himself " husbandman."

Aaron Ashley appears to have talcen interest in town affairs in Sheffield. He was chosen town constable in 1734, and held a few other minor offices. He continued to be a resident of Sheffield the greater part of his life.

On March 10, 1740-1, he sold for £150 to Benjamin Day of West Springfield "465 acres of land in the First or lower division of Sheffield, part of which I formerly dwelt on." In this deed he calls himself "of Branford, Connecticut." It is unlikely, however, that he removed his farnily there, and he calls himself "of Sheffield" again on July 27, 1742. On August 5, 1742, he repurchased his old farm of Day, paying but £37-10 for it.

From 1745 to 1748 he lived in Westfield, and is spoken of as Ensign Aaron Ashley. He enlisted from there as a soldier in King George's War, and served from November 16, 1747, to January 12, 1747-8, in Capt. William Lyman's company at Fort Massachusetts, part of the time acting as sentinel.

In 1755 he had returned again to Sheffield. The French arid Indian War had begun, and he was made sergeant of Capt. Elisha Noble's company in the South Hampshire Regiment, raised for the Crown Point expedition, and served from September 12 to December 6, 1755." He reenlisted March 30,1756, in Capt. John Burk’s company, Col. Joseph Dwight's regiment, for the Crown Point expedition, and served thirty weeks and traveled fifty miles. The roll is dated October 11, 1756, in camp at Fort William Henry, and mention is made that “Aaron Ashley was left sick at the Flatts." He was discharged October 25th, according to the rolls of that company, but is reported as serving until November 5th in Capt. John Fellow's company. His name is in a list of the men that went out of the First Foot Company in Sheffield to Fort Edward on the Alarm in the year 1757 for the relief of Fort William Henry, the number of miles each traveled and the number of days each lay at Fort Edward, with one day in the same column to provide for their march before they set out and also the sum allowed for a horse each day while in camp, etc." . . . . . .”Aaron Ashley, 204 miles at 2/8 each 15 miles, 36/, 9 days at 2/8, 24/6; 8 days, 5/4; sum total £3 : 5s 4d.

In the spring of the following year, 1758, he was living in Westfield again, hut continued to serve in the army. "A Billeting Roll of Capt. Jonathan Ball's company in Col. William Williams' regiment made up at Northampton : Aaron Ashley of Westfield enlisted April 14, 1758, received King's allowance May 31, 1758, 47 days at 6d per day." In the "Muster Roll of Capt. Jonathan Ball of Granville in the Expedition to Canada : Aaron Ashley enlisted April 14, 1768, discharged November 3, 1758, received £13 : 2s : 4p." "He reenlisted from Westfield on April 6, 1'759, in Capt. John Bancroft's company, Brig.Gen. Timothy Ruggles, and served until December 1, 1759, "in the late expedition to Crown Point, and received £15 : 8s :7d"

His service in this campaign seems to have been the last military duty performed by Aaron Ashley. In the following year, 1760, and up to the time of his third marriage, he was living in Sheffield. After his marriage he seems to have lived for a few years in Westfield, but returned to Sheffield before 1770, and died there about ten years later.


By fist wife :

i. SARAH, b. 28 July 1732 ; d. 24 Nov. 1732.

ii. BETHIA, b. 16 NOV 1733; m. 26 Oct. 1752, Simon Cooley of Sunderland, Mass.


By second wife :

iii. WILLIAM, b. about 1742.

iv. SARAH, b. 2 Sept. 1745 ; m. Augustine Austin of Sheffield.

v. HANNAH, b., 6 July 1748; m. 10 July 1766, Col. Oliver Root of Pittsfield, Mass.

By third wife

vi. MEHITABLE, b. 2 6 June 1765; m. 25 June 1807, Capt. Silas King of Westfield.

vii. BETHIA, b. 4 NOV 1766; pub. intent. of m. 29 Oct. 1794, Ebenezer Saxton of Deerfield, Mass.

Source: Francis Bacon Trowbridge, The Ashley Genealogy, History of the Descendants of Robert Ashley of Springfield, Massachusetts, (Press of Tuttle, Morehouse & Taylor; 1896), page 38-41.

Ashley Homestead, Sunderland MA
Ashley Homestead
Sunderland, Massachusetts
(Trowbridge 1896)

REV. JOSEPH ASHLEY (Samuel, David, Robert), born 11 October 1709 in Westfield, Mass.; died 8 February 1797 in Sunderland, Mass.; married 16 February 1736-7 in Westfield, ANNA DEWEY, daughter of Capt. Adijah and Sarah (Root) Dewey, and sister of the wives of his brother Aaron and his cousin David Ashley, born 22 March 1709 in Westfield; died 15 July 1791 in Sunderland.

Joseph Ashley was graduated at Yale College in 1730. He studied theology and settled in what was then called Arlington, but afterwards became the town of Winchester, in the southwestern part of New Hampshire, and was ordained first pastor of the church there on November 24, 1736. "He was given $150 towards his settlement, and was to receive a salary of £130 and the ministerial right in land. The generosity of this salary is noticeable, for the governor of the Province received but £100 and the minister at Portsmouth, then the largest and wealthiest settlement, the same as Mr. Ashley."  "Mr. Ashley was also interested in the grant of the town of Putney.

The settlement at Winchester was broken up by the Indians in 1746, and Mr. Ashley was regularly dismissed in April, 1747, and on November 10th was installed pastor of the Congregational church in Sunderland, Mass. His Tory sentiments caused difficulty between him and his congregation, and in December, 1784, by advice of an ecclesiastical council, he desisted from the exercise of his pastoral office. nbsp;He was not dismissed, however, though another pastor was settled in 1792 and dismissed in 1793, but continued in office as “pastor emeritus" until his death.

Mr. Ashley's position in religious controversies was similar to that of his cousin Rev. Jonathan Ashley.  He was one of the majority on the council which dismissed Jonathan Edwards, and one of the joint authors of "An Account of the Conduct" of that council, published in a pamphlet of eight pages.

The house in which Parson Ashley lived in Sunderland was built for a parsonage in 1717. It stands next south of the site of the first meeting-house, erected in 1717, and next north of the present church. The "minister's lot " where Parson Ashley lived is on the southwest corner of the main street and the road leading west to the bridge over the Connecticut River. The house is the oldest one in the town and is still in a good state of preservation. The "study," just back of the upper front hall, is six feet by ten, and is lighted by two windows six feet above the floor, the panes of glass being six by inches. It is said that the windows were thus arranged so that the minister's thoughts would not be distracted by the outside world while writing his sermons. There is a cupboard in the room which is said to have been made for the minister's wines. It was not used as a parsonage by any minister after Mr. Ashley, and at his death came into possession of his son Gideon. No record of the settlement of the estate of Rev. Joseph Ashley has been found.

Money to erect a suitable monument to the memory of Rev. Mr. Ashley was provided by the will of his granddaughter Charlotte Ashley. It is a slab of white marble supported on marble posts, and must have been quite expensive. The inscription is as follows:

In Memory of

the Son of MR. SAMUEL ASHLEY who was born at Westfield Mass. Oct. 11th. 1709 Graduated at Yale College 1730 was married to Miss Anna Dewey Feby l5th 1736 Ordained over the Church & People of Winchester N.H. 1736 left Winchester on account of troubles by Indians 1745 installed over the Church and People in Sunderland 1749 died Feby 8th 1797 in the 61st year of his Ministry and in the 8th year of his age

Sound in Judgment meek in Spirit exemplary in life a friend of peace a steady believer in the doctrines of grace respected by his People & esteemed by his Brethren in the Ministry They that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever

The inscription on Mrs. Ashley's monument is as follows :

This Monument is Erected to the Memory of Mrs. Anna Ashley Consort of the Rev Joseph Ashley who died July 15 1791 in the 82 Year of her Age Blessed are the dead, which die in the Lord

Rev – 14.13


i. JOSEPH, b 26 Apr. 1738.

ii. STEPHEN, b. 27 Nov. 1740.

iii. GIDEON, b. 15 May 1743.

iv. ANNA, b. 10 May 1748; m. 10 Dec. 1767, Jonathan Russell of Sunderland, Mass.

v. SARAH, b. 13 Sept. 1750 in Sunderland; m. 21 Oct. 1783," Benjamin Dickinson of Sunderland.

Source: Francis Bacon Trowbridge, The Ashley Genealogy, History of the Descendants of Robert Ashley of Springfield, Massachusetts, (Press of Tuttle, Morehouse & Taylor; 1896), page 41-44.