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Daniel Kennedy Ashcraft, son of Jacob and Sarah Kennedy Ashcraft was born
(according to his father's Bible) October 8, 1822 and died April 20, 1898, buried in the
Red Hill Cemetery at Hodgenville, Ky., married Nancy Jane Miller October 19, 1859, a
daughter of David Miller and Nancy Anderson Miller. She was born April 2, 1837 and
died February 24, 1875. It is of interest to note that David Miller was a son of
Jacob Miller and Elizabeth Masterson, who were married in Pottinger's Fort in Nelson
County at a very early date.
A son of Daniel K. and Nancy Jane Miller Ashcraft was John Newton Ashcraft born in 1869, died in Elizabethtown in 1935, spent much of his earlier life in LaRue County. He was a druggist at Hodgenville, when on October 21, 1896 he married Miss Bessie Botts, daughter of Seth and Mary Elizabeth Smith Botts at the handsome home of her parents in Glendale. Bessie was born in 1875. Mary Elizabeth Smith's mother was Hannah Ashcraft, daughter of Elijah Ashcraft, born October 1, 1784 at Chambers Mill, Fayette County, Pennsylvania. He married Elizabeth McWilliams January 12, 1810. Hannah Ashcraft married George Washinton Smith, of the Mill Creek Smith family; he was a son of Washington Smith and Hannah McWilliams, daughter of James McWilliams, the Revolutionary soldier who settled on Mill Creek and died at his home in that community August 26, 1843.
Elijah Ashcraft was a son of Richard Ashcraft of Fayette County, Pennsylvania, who died there about 1791. Elijah came to early day Hardin County, with his mother, brothers, and sisters about 1799. Thus John N. Ashcraft, a direct descendent from Jediah Ashcraft, married Bessie Botts, a direct descendent from Richard Ashcraft, brother of Jediah Ashcraft.
The John Newton Ashcraft family resided in Glendale until about 1918, when he became distributor in this area for the Gulf Oil Company, an association that has continued to the present time. (Ray Ashcraft and his son, John, are the present agents.) John N. Ashcraft had James W. Atwood as a partner for some years during the 1920's when Mr. Ashcraft was holding positions with the state government. He was at one time State Insurance Commissioner.
While residing in Elizabethtown, the Ashcrafts lived in a large handsome house on Churchill Court. Mrs. Ashcraft was killed in 1933 when the car in which she and her husband were returning to Elizabethtown skidded and overturned on a wet highway, on the hill just west of the Strickler bridge on the Leitchfield Road. Her death was a shock to all her acquaintances and contributed to the death of her husband two years later.
Mr. and Mrs. John N. Ashcraft were the parents of three children; William Seth, born in 1897, died December 28, 1969, attended schools in Glendale, was employed for a number of years by the State Highway Department in an engineering capacity, married first, Ruby McMurtry, born 1910, died in 1939, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. S. McMurtry. They had a daughter, Suzanne. He married second, Sallie Upchurch. Marie Bessie Ashcraft, born 1900, died in 1934, married James McMurtry March 13, 1926, they had no children; J. Ray Ashcraft presently living in Elizabethtown, married Louise Harned August 14, 1947, they have two children; John, born September 22, 1948, associated with his father in management of their business and Karol, born July 23, 1952, a graduate in 1974 from the University of Kentucky as is her brother. Karol Ashcraft was married January 5, 1974 to Ernie Lewis.
Ray Ashcraft in younger days was an outstanding amateur athlete, in high school playing football and basketball. He still plays low score golf, and has been champion in tournament play at the local country club. His contemporaries will remember him as a highschool basketball referee of almost a half century ago. He might chuckle now in recalling some experiences of those days, when basketball at the high school level was rather a new sport. Some of the schools had not yet built gymnasiums, others had, and those fortunate enough to offer indoor facilities for their teams, supporters and "rooters" in most cases had small unheated buildings.
The rooters in their rabid support of their local team in some towns menat that tthe game officials when calling fouls against the home team might be subjected to threats of violence, in addition to the verbal abuse. Ray Ashcraft remembers "leaving town in a hurry" in some instances, of officials being the target for thrown objects or the fist of some "bully-boy" rooter. Fans are more civilised nowadays.
RICHARD ASHCRAFT, BROTHER OF JEDIAH
Richard Ashcraft was born circa 1746 and died February 1792,
freezing to death by falling in a creek at Chambers Mills, Pa. His birthplace is not
definitely known, but was apparently somewhere in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, as he sold
his interest in the birthplace in this county in 1767: 340 acres on the banks of the
Monongahela River, opposite the mouth of 10 mile Creek, for 20 pounds, Pennsylvania money.
He served as an Indiana scout in western Pennsylvania along the Monongahela River and the record of his service in the Revolution is to be found in the State Library at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania which shows him as serving in Captain Bazil Bowell's Company, the Muster Roll being in the D.A.R. Library Unpublished Records for Fayette County, Penn. vol. 1, 1940.
According to family history, Richard Ashcraft was a son of one or two brothers, Absolom or Elisha Ashcraft. He had brothers named Joel, Jediah and Absolom.
In Pennsylvania Richard Ashcraft married Elizabeth Carr, born circa 1748/1750, who came to Kentucky in 1799, seven years after her husband's death. She died in Meade County, Kentucky October 16, 1846 and was buried on "The High Ground of Hill Grove" where her grave was marked with a simple rough stone, engraved E.A. 1846, October 16.
Elizabeth Carr Ashcraft's will mentioned children as: Abner, Abijah, Elijah, Elisha, Absolem (Absolom), Delilah Ross, Elizabeth Shacklett, all having departed this life and "my other daughters living," Mary Dotson and Rachel Shacklett. (Rachel Shacklett was the wife of General Blancett Shacklett. She is buried with her husband next to her mother.)
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Elizabeth Carr Ashcraft inherited some land from her brother, John
Carr, who also came to Kentucky and had a warrant for land dated March15, 1781 (500 acres)
which was confirmed by James Garrand, Governor of Kentucky, on September 15, 1797.
There was another brother, Moses Carr.
The children of Richard Ashcraft and Elizabeth (Betsy) Carr, brought by her to Kentucky, were as follows: 1. Abijah, who married Hannah Enlow. The sons of Richard Ashcraft were known in their part of the country as fighters. In fact, it has been reported that fighting with nature's weapons was one of the chief pastimes of the people of early Meade County. Not everybody took part, for the great majority were only interested spectators. Abijah was regarded as the most powerful of all of the older Ashcrafts, and was spoken of as the most physcially powerful man in Meade and the adjoining counties.
Dr. David Smith has recorded that: "It was the custom of the noted fighters of the time to go the rounds of the towns at court terms and visit musters, three day election and the like, and after warming up a little with stimulants they would walk up and down the public thoroughfares, cry out their ability to rout all comers generally, capping the climax by declaring they could whip their weight in wildcats." It was a rare thing to find Abijah Ashcraft absent from one of these gatherings in his territory. The use of knives or pistols in such encounters was regarded as cowardly; if either of the fighters attempted to use such, the crowd turned on the fellow and he usually ended up with a bad beating. Storiess of Abijah Ashcraft's fighting ability and his escapades furnished much folklore in the early settlements.
Abijah Ashcraft's name appears on the 1810 Federal Census for Hardin County, his age under 45, three sons, under 10 years, a daughter under 10 and his wife, under 25 years.
2. Abner Ashcraft married Ruth Finch. The 1810 Census lists him and his wife in the same age brackets as his brother, Abijah, their children in the same numbers and age brackets. He is spoken of as not being a large man, rather fond of fighting and not easy to handle. His death probably resulted from a kick in the side, received while fighting with John Shacklette.
3. Elijah Ashcraft was born near Chambers Mills, Fayette County, Pennsylvania, October 1, 1784, and married Elizabeth McWilliams January 12, 1810. The 1810 Federal Census lists only Elijah and his wife. He died January 6, 1829. They were parents of James, Polly, Hannah, Elisha and Elizabeth.
The two other sons of Richard and Elizabeth Carr Ashcraft were: 4. Absalom, who married Delilah Allen (he was said to have been like his brother Elijah, quiet and peaceable); 5. Elisha, who married Rebecca Bowman. According to Dr. Ridenour, Abijah Ashcraft was known in Kentucky as the "he-wolf" on account of his vindictiveness toward the Indians, expert in woodcraft and with the rifle, he was a terror on an Indian's trail. He removed to Indiana at an early date.
Richard and Elizabeth Carr Ashcraft were parents of four daughters: Mary, who married James Dotson and moved to Indiana; Elizabeth, the oldest daughter, married General Ben Shacklette, in Pennsylvania before the migration of the Ashcrafts and Shacklettes to the future Meade County (the Shacklettes were members of an old Huguenot family, most likely originally from France); her sister, Rachael, married Blancett Shacklette; and Delilah, married first to James Ross, second to Benjamin Stillwell.
Ben Shacklette, who married Elizabeth (Betsy) Ashcraft, October 9, 1792, was born in Pennsylvania in 1774.
Members of the Phillip Jenkins family, together with the Ashcrafts and the Shacklettes, all arriving at about the same dates in that part of Hardin County which is now Meade, comprised a large portion of the community and first, second and third generations of those families made up much of the population there for a number of years; however, like all the pioneer families, their descendents are now scattered over the nation.
The National Archives contain records of one John Ashcraft who served in the Revolution, enlisting under a Captain Ashcraft in the spring of 1781, and marching to Fort Pitt (Pittsburg) where he joined General Clark's expedition to Wheeling. There he was put in a company under a Captain Cline, with whom he marched to the mouth of the Kanawha. He was discharged at that place, having completed his six months' enlistment.
The records state that John Ashcraft was no relation to the Captain Ashcraft referred to, however Captain Ashcraft was from Fayette County Pennsylvania and the writer would be inclined to think that there was some relationship there. When the old soldier, John Ashcraft, applied for military pension July 28, 1832, his age was stated as being ninety-five years. He would thus have been born in 1737 and at time of enlistment in 1781, he would have been forty-four years old.
When John Ashcraft applied for pension he was living in Harrison County, Virginia (now West Virginia--Clarksburg is the county seat of Harrison County); a son Uriah Ashcraft was sixty-seven years of age and signed his father's application. Quite likely the old soldier was living with his son. Mrs. Nichols states that Jediah Ashcraft was in Harrison County, Virginia in 1755; "that he was born in Pennsylvania, moved to Harrison County, Virginia and to Kentucky."
Fayette County, Pennsylvania, where the colony of Ashcrafts was established at some time in the early 1700's, and where Ichabod Ashcraft built the fort near Smithfield at some date prior to 1750, is not too many miles from Harrison County, Virginia, approximately fifty miles. Considering the dates and ages involved, the writer would consider it logical to consider Jediah (Jedidiah) and John Ashcraft as possibly being brothers, or cousins at least, and with communities of Ashcrafts in borth Fayette County, Pennsylvania and Harrison County, Virginia. At that date both were located in areas claimed by Virginia; the former was established as being part of Pennsylvania when the boundaries were settled in 1780 and Harrison County, Virginia was located in West Virginia, when that state was formed from Virginia in 1863.
Many members of today's families of Walters, Brownfields, Ashcrafts and McClures are descendents of Jediah Ashcraft and Nancy Ann Friend who were married some time around 1760 (this date is based on the known birthdates of some of their children), she being the daughter of John Friend, Jr., and his wife, Elizabeth, of Friends Cove, Pennsylvania.