Meade County Messenger article on
Ashcraft and Carr

Meade County Messenger, Wednesday, February 2, 2000


Meade County Messenger, Wednesday, November 7, 1900


The Early Ashcrafts in Fayette County, Pa.
Their Kentucky Descendants Seeking Information.
Ashcraft's Fort Named in Honor of Ichabod Ashcraft.

The following from the News - Standard, Uniontown, Pa., will be read with interest by many in this county:
   "Parties at Louisville are writing to Uniontown for information as to their ancestors, among whom are the Ashcrafts.  D. T Smith, M.D. of 115 East Broadway, Louisville, writes to the News Standard desiring to know something about Ashcraft's old fort, and adds:
   "Our ancestor was Richard Ashcraft, who lived at Chambers Mill in Fayette county and was drowned on his way from mill in a creek some two or three miles from the m???, as the tradition reaches us.  He had a brother, Jed Ashcraft, who was killed about 1790 in Grayson county, Ky., by the Indians.  If you know anything of the history of the family or of Ashcraft's fort,  I would be very thankful to you if you would communicate it to me by letter.  Richard Ashcraft married Elizabeth Carr, a niece (?) of Col. Carr, who was the reputed father of one of  ?? brothers.  Any information you can give me in regard to the families will be thankfully received."
   E.C. Ashcraft, also of Louisville 430 W. Green Street, writes in quest of the same information.  He says:  "My grandmother Ashcraft was Elizabeth Carr.   She was born in Fayette county about 1750.  In 1790 (being a widow) she moved from there and settled in what is now Made county, Ky., and died in 1815.  Several of her brothers lived in the county named in Pennsylvania.  I recollect she told me of having two brothers with William Crawford, who was captured and burned by the Indians.   They made their escape.  She knew Crawford.  She knew the renegade Simon Girty and claimed that he was akin to the Carrs, and claimed further that Girty's mother had a child by one Col. Carr, either her uncle or cousin.   So much for Carrs.
  "Her husband was Richard Ashcraft, known by the old people as the old Indian fighter.  Many hard stories have I heard my grandmother tell of his hatred of the Indians.  During the revolution he fought alone, coming into camp always with his shot pouch full of scalps.  He was captured once by them but made his escape.   He finally was frozen to death the same winter my father was born, (February, 179?2.)  He understood and could talk the Indian dialect, which gave him great advantage over others.  I mention these things that they may assist some old persons in tracing up old families of my ancestors. 
   "I was born and raised in Meade county, Ky., now living here.  My father, Absalom Ashcraft, was born in either Union town or Brownsville, I have forgotten which.  He died in 1811.  I am now 75 years of age."
   The early Ashcrafts were settled chiefly in Georges township and among the 200 or more property owners of that township in 1787, four years after Fayette county was organized out of Westmoreland, were the following: Ichabod Ashcraft, Daniel Ashcraft.   Richard Ashcraft, Rlah Ashcraft.  An old fort erected on the Evans farm in that township as a protection from the Indians was named Ashcraft fort after Ichabod Ashcraft, who on May 29, 1770, obtained a patent for 199 acres known as , "Buffalo Pasture."  They built this fort near a gushing spring.  The fort has long since disappeared but the spring still gushes.   The fort was built at the crossing of two Indian trails, and it is probable that many an Indian was shot from it.   Tradition has it that Mrs. Rachel Ashcraft, hearing what seemed to be a turkey gobbler calling, suspected it was an Indian trick.  Taking down her trusty rifle she waited again for the call.  Presently she heard it, and then an Indian's head peeped from behind  a Tree to see if any one came out of the fort to hunt the turkey.   She thereupon sent a bullet through the Indian's head. 
   From Miss Mame Ashcraft, of this place, it is learned that Jacob Smith Ashcraft came here from Harrison county, W. Va.. with James Bonner, now of Greene county.   He was a son of Levi Ashcraft.  Jacob Ashcraft married Sophia Nelson in Dunbar township, and his sister married John Griffith who was a brother-in-law of Bonner.   Jacob Ashcraft had eight children: James P.  living at Derry, Pa.:  Ellen Bennington, Alleghency City; Mame, of Uniontown; Haddie, wife of Alphens B. Pickard cashier of the First National bank of Scottdale.
   If any one possesses authentic information as to the early Ashcraft or Carr settlers in Fayette county, the News Standard will be pleased to publish the name for the benefit of the Kentucky inquirers.