Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Mystery of the Ashmore Family

I have a little mystery for you.  It begins with a broken tombstone for Margaret Ashmore in Smithland Cemetery in Livingston County.  There is no birth date and where the death date should be, the stone is broken. Previous recordings, however,  give the death date as 11 June 1849.[1]

daughter of
Rob. & Rachel

If this death date is correct, one would think her parents, or at least her mother, was in Smithland on that date.  

Maybe. But no Ashmore is found on the Livingston County Tax Lists for 1849  or 1850  or 1851  or 1852. So, where were Robert and Rachel Ashmore, the parents of little Margaret?

R. [Rachel?] Ashmore, age 25, and G.A. Ashmore, age 1, are found on the 1850 Mercer County, New Jersey census living in the town of Princeton in a household  headed by William Williamson, age 24.  By the way, Robert Asmore [sic] married Rachel Williamson 6 January 1844 in Somerset County, New Jersey. [2] So, if Rachel was living with some of her relatives in 1850, where was Robert and who was G.A. Ashmore, age 1?

It appears that Robert Ashmore enlisted in the Army on 20 July 1849.[3] He was described as age 28 with grey eyes, brown hair, stood 5 feet 9 inches tall, was born in Hunterdon County, New Jersey and was a millwright.  On the 16th of May 1851, he deserted. That is the last record found on Robert Ashmore.

On the 1860 Hunterdon County, New Jersey census, Rachel Ashmore, age 37, and George Ann Ashmore, age 11, were living in the household of Jacob and Anna Williamson in the town of Lambertville. So, it appears that Rachel had a daughter, George Ann, who was born about 1849 in Missouri. Was she a twin to Margaret?  Was Margaret also born in Missouri and, if so, why was she buried in Smithland, Kentucky?

Rachel and George Ann didn't stay in New Jersey. By 1869 they are living in - where else - Smithland, Kentucky. On the 16th of September of 1869, Miss Georgiana Ashmore married Charles S. Delay.
Original Marriage License and Certificate 1869
Livingston County Clerk's Office
Smithland, Kentucky

The newlyweds and the mother in law, Rachel, moved to Cairo, Illinois, where they are found on the 1870 census. Rachel died 1 August 1872 at the age of 49 years. Services were held at the M.E. Church in Cairo and her remains were taken to Smithland, Kentucky for interment.[4]  My hunch is she is buried without a tombstone beside little Margaret.

Charles Delay and wife Georgia (Ashmore) moved to Scott County, Missouri, where they can be found on the 1880 census in the town of Sylvania with their children, Georgie, Harry, Daisy and Charlie. Georgia Ashmore Delay died at Parker's Station, Missouri on the evening of 21 March 1881. Her remains were taken to Beech Grove Cemetery in Cairo, Illinois for burial.

There ends the saga of the Ashmore family. What was their original connection to Smithland, Kentucky?  What drew them back to Smithland time after time?

Every person has a story to tell. I just wish some of them would speak a little louder.

[1] "The Old Cemetery at Smithland, Kentucky," The Register of the Kentucky State Historical Society, Vol. 41 (1943)
by Mrs. Verna Presnell McChesney and Livingston County, Kentucky Cemeteries 1738-1976 by Livingston County, Kentucky Homemaker Clubs, 1977 have the same death date for Margaret Ashmore.
[2] U.S., Dutch Reformed Church Records in Selected States, 1639-1989,, accessed 6 February 2017.
[3] U.S. Army, Register of Enlistments, 1798-1914,, accessed 16 February 2017.
[4] "Died," The Cairo Bulletin, Friday, 2 August 1872, p. 4

Published 26 April 2017, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

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