Ashton, John Sr.

Birth Name Ashton, John Sr.
Gender male
Age at Death 69 years, 1 month, 17 days

Narrative

Some members of the Ashton family were said to have travelled to Prince Edward Island with Mary Ashton and her husband Humphrey Dyment in the early 1830s. There were three other Ashtons living on in Prince County around that time:
John Ashton, from Devon, Emgland, a Bible Christian from West Devon Lot 10;
Susan Ashton, who married George Locke in 1842 in Lot 13; and
Sarah Ashton who married a Baglole, in Hartland, Devon.

There was a Dyment connection with George Locke: he was a witness at two Dyment weddings, and Humphrey Dyment Jr. named a son George Locke Dyment. George Locke was one of the original executors named on John Ashton's will, but he predeceased John, and "Mary Diamond" was asked to make a statement when there was a question about John's marriages and his will. This suggests some kind of connection among these Ashtons.

An article in the Guardian on the history of West Devon noted that the first five settlers were John Moreshead, John Ashton, James Grigg, Josiah Powe, and William Nicholl, all from Devon, England. At the time the article was written, in 1905, James Grigg was 80 and the only survivor of the early settlers. Grigg's sister was the widow of Josiah Powe (now Mrs. Tuplin); the article noted that the sons of two of the early settlers had inherited their father's farms, John Moreshead and John Ashton Jr.

The first land transaction, between John Ashton and James Yeo, was made in 1842.

John Ashton was married in 1824 to an older woman, Martha Austin. They didn't get along - John told a friend that they coudn't keep the peace. When John emigrated around 1829, Martha stayed in Devon, England where she died in 1869.

However, John must have married again, because he had three children born on Prince Edward Island.

There was only one John Ashton in Lot 10 in 1861; he was probably the member of the family over 60, and born in England. The young people in the household were a boy under 5 and 2 girls between 5-15. The older woman was between 45-60; two people were married, and 3 were single.

John Ashton widower married Elizabeth Morrell in September 1868. The Bible Christian minister, Mr. Newcombe, refused to marry them because John could not say for certain if his first wife in England was still living. The were married by Richard Kinley. On some records,Elizabeth's name was Sarah Morrell, or Sarah Culleton.

Groom's Name John Ashton
Groom's Residence Lot 10
Groom's Status Widow/Widower
Bride's Name Elizabeth Moral
Bride's Residence Lot 10
Bride's Status Spinster
Source RG19/s3/ss5: Marriage bonds, 1868

It is perhaps possible that John believed he was a widower when he married again. Martha was older than him, and the last news he had of her was that she was ill.

He left a large estate. John's will was written in 1867, with a codicil dated 1869. He named four children: John, Sarah, Susan and Mary Jane. John and Mary Jane were under 21; Sarah was married to Joseph Moreshead and later papers noted that Susan was married to Nathan Morrell. In 1867, John asked his son John to provide a home for his mother, un-named. After his death, his son in law Joseph brought forward evidence that John's marriage in 1868 was not legal, since at the time of this marriage, John had a wife still living in Devon. As well, by 1871 Elizabeth had married again, to Samuel Culletin. Joseph wanted an account of the expenditures made by Elizabeth and Samuel.

A witness to his first marriage came to the Island from Devon, and another friend was asked to write a statement. It was also mentioned that "Mary Diamond" would be asked for a statement, but if she did, it was not included in the estate papers. This Mary could be Mary Ashton, wife of Humphrey Dyment.

It isn't clear who the mother of his three older children was. The children were born after John arrived on the Island, without his English wife. There was no record of this marriage. The 1861 census indicated that he was married. In his will, signed in 1867, he asked to his son John to look after his mother, but John didn't marry Elizabeth until September 1868. The legal wrangling after the will, however, would not indicate a close family relationship between John's widow Elizabeth and the older children. Elizabeth also claimed that her daughter Mary Jane, born in March 1869 was his only legitimate child.

Mary J Ashton, born PEI in 1869, married on 4 Sep 1899 in Boston, James S. Long from New Brunswick. She said she was the daughter of John Ashton and Annie Morritt (Elizabeth Morrell). James Long died in Boston 12 Apr 1900 at the age of 31. Mary Jane Long returned to the Island to live with Elizabeth Morrell Culletin.

From the History of O'leary:
Large clover fields and orchards bloom.
The farmer's toil is well repaid;
To guide the plough his chosen trade.
His sprightly team well-groomed and fed;
His chosen seed with system spread.
To native thrift with practice skilled,
The grateful soil abundance yields.
And me, its merits marks are well bestowed,
For plenty crowns O'Leary Road.

The above poem, taken from an old scrap book, is believed to be written by Luke Hughes from Lot 11 and was submitted to the Island Farmer by John Ashton from West Devon, circa 1840.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Events

Event Date Place Description Sources
Birth 1801 Devon, England    
Death February 18, 1870 Lot 10, Prince County, Prince Edward Island, Canada at age 69, native of England  

Families

Family of Ashton, John Sr. and Austin, Martha

Married Wife Austin, Martha ( * + 1869 )
   
Event Date Place Description Sources
Marriage April 29, 1824 Parkham, Devon, England    

Family of Ashton, John Sr. and Unknown, Wife

Married Wife Unknown, Wife ( * + before 1868 )
  Narrative

Possible that John's first wife was Annie Morrell?

  Children
Name Birth Date Death Date
Ashton, SarahMarch 3, 1850September 28, 1913
Ashton, Susan AnnDecember 24, 1851before 1940
Ashton, JohnJanuary 20, 1857May 4, 1943

Family of Ashton, John Sr. and Morrell, Sarah Elizabeth

Married Wife Morrell, Sarah Elizabeth ( * April 1833 + March 1919 )
   
Event Date Place Description Sources
Marriage September 22, 1868 Prince County, Prince Edward Island, Canada    
  Children
Name Birth Date Death Date
Ashton, Mary JaneMarch 1869