Wednesday, March 16, 2016

No Blarney--Our Irish Roots!

County Wicklow, Ireland
   I introduced Mary Ashworth (1863-1928) as my great-grandmother in the previous post.  My father never really told me anything more about her, and she would have died when Daddy was only 10 years old.  She must, however, have maintained a relationship with Clarence, even though he didn't live with her for much of his childhood, because she is buried in the Burson Cemetery, right behind Clarence's grave with a grave marker that says "Mother." 
    It turns out that Mary Ashworth's family is a fascinating one to research!  Her great-grandfather, James Ashworth came to America in 1812, with his wife, Mary, and five children.  James and Mary were both 50 years old.  The children accompanying them were: Jonn, age 24; Cath, age 21; Thomas, age 20; Anne, age 18; and James, no age given.  James, Jonn and Thomas are listed as having the occupation of "weaver."  They departed on the American ship, the Vermont,  from  Dublin, Ireland about June 18, 1812 and listed their hometown as Wicklow Town, County Wicklow, Ireland.  County Wicklow is on the central eastern shore of  Ireland and is known as the "Garden of Ireland."
Passenger Manifest

     I'm sure the Ashworth Family was not prepared for the adventure that followed their departure! Although even the captain was unaware when they set sail, the U.S. Congress had declared war on Great Britain the day they departed.  Now the Ashworths not only had the dangers of a long sea voyage, but the dangers of war to contend with!  The British could have commandeered the ship and forced the Irish passengers to aid the British Navy.  It's probably a blessing that communication was so slow, and the passengers knew very little of what was going on until they were almost to their destination.  
     As the Vermont approached the American shore on July 17, 1812, one can only imagine the excitement of the passengers who saw their destination just ahead after a month-long voyage!  Commander Frederick Lee, on the cutter  Eagle, spied the Vermont off the coast of Connecticut  and demanded to board and search the ship.  Captain Samuel Nicoll of the Vermont provided all the necessary paperwork, including the passenger and cargo list.  That paperwork was preserved in the State of Connecticut records and provides an important part of our family history!
     I have found an enlistment record for the War of 1812 that shows a Thomas Ashworth, native of Ireland and the correct age for "our" Thomas (son of James) enlisting in the war effort in November 21, 1814 in Albany (I assume New York, not Ohio).  I believe he was only on the military roll for less than a month.  More research is needed! 
     James and his son Thomas are both listed in the 1820 census for Sutton Township, Meigs County.  It is interesting to note that they are listed as "unnaturalized foreigners."  James also appears in the 1830 and 1840 census records, but in Chester Township of Meigs County.  James died in 1844, so does not appear in any later census records.  James was buried in the Chester Cemetery, which I hope to visit soon!  Thomas is listed in the 1850 Census.  He died in 1857 and is also buried in the Chester Cemetery.

      Thomas married Nancy Blain on July 1, 1824 in Meigs County.  Nancy's father, James Blain, was also a native of Ireland, but I have found very little information on them so far.  Thomas and Nancy had a son named John Ashworth in 1828, who is our direct line ancestor.   Thomas died November 26, 1857 and is buried in the Chester Cemetery.
 Thomas Ashworth Tombstone
Chester Cemetery, Meigs County, Ohio
     John Ashworth was born December 8, 1828 in Meigs County.  He married Caroline Rebecca Pennybacker (just wait until you hear about her family!!!)  John and Caroline had at least 11 children, including "our" Mary Ashworth, Clarence Goldsberry's mother.  The death certificate for Mary below shows John and Caroline as her parents. It states that the cause of her death was tuberculosis.


     The pictures above are of Mary Ashworth's grave at Burson Cemetery.  In the bottom picture of Clarence and Ada's grave, you can see Mary's grave is right behind Clarence's grave (you can see the pink flowers in front of her stone).  Thanks to my sister, Suellen, and my mother for making the trip each year to Athens County before Memorial Day to make sure there are flowers on her husband's family graves.
     To read the entire article about the Vermont's voyage, do a Google search on "Irish Immigrants on the Vermont 1812."
     I hope you will celebrate St. Patrick's Day this year by remembering our brave Ashworth ancestors!


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