Explorations of the Ashton Family line, focusing on 5th Great-Grandmother Ann Sherrington!

The genealogical post that I wrote the other day, outlined a brief history of my mother’s Ashton family line. Today I’d like to add a little more to the story. In this episode though, we go back in time, rather than forward! John Sherrington Ashton, Sr.  was the first of my Ashton ancestors I found, who was not living in the United States! Many years ago, when my wife and I made our first visit to a Family History Center in Voorhees, NJ, the first microfiche that I looked at I found  a John Sherrington Ashton!! The full name was there, wow, I thought this will be easy!!  A review of the record showed that John was born in 1814 and was the son of Thomas and Mary…

JSAshton-1814 birth

Now I knew that John was the son of Thomas Ashton and Mary Unknown.  My guess was that her maiden name was Sherrington, but I did not have any confirmation of that, until a little while later, when I met Paul Ashton on-line. Paul lives in England and he confirmed that on the Ashton family tree, that hangs on his wall,  Thomas Ashton a brother to his ancestor Edward Ashton, did indeed marry Mary Sherrington in a small church in Kirkby on Bain. He also gave me the date of the marriage August 10, 1810, and told me that the church was still standing! In addition, he told me that Thomas, Paul believed, was the son of James Ashton and Ann Don, born in 1791.

I continued my research of Mary Sherrington and found that there was a Mary Sherrington born in 1792 to a John Sherrington and Ann Sneath in Holbeach Additionally, I found a marriage record for an Ann Sneath and John Sherrington in Holbeach on June 8, 1789. However, I have never been able to find anything more on either John or Ann in the way of either birth, death or census information , that tied Ann Sneath to Mary Sherrington, until the other day when the “World’ Best Genealogist”, who is also my better half got on the trail.  She soon found a link to a will of Ann Sherrington …..

Ann Sherrington will

The will provided a direct link from Ann Sherrington to daughter Mary Sherrington, and secondly it proves that John, Mary’s father was dead by 1804. What it didn’t prove though was that Ann Sherrington was in fact Ann Sneath. The executors of the will were Shorts and Simpsons and money was left in trust for Mary and was to be divided among the Short, the Simpsons and several other families if Mary died before the age of 21 without an heir. So why was Ann Sneath leaving money to the Short families?? Looking back at the marriage of John Ashton and Ann Sneath, my wife saw that Ann was a widow when they were married. Searching the records, she found that an Ann Short married a Matthew Snaith/Sneath in Holbeach in 1784 .  They had a son Thomas in 1785 and a month or so later, Matthew died.  Their son Thomas also died in 1789.

So now I had a connection between an Ann Short Sneith Sherrington and Mary Sherrington, which also explains the Shorts  being the executors of the wills. The question that now remains is which of the Short men is Ann’s father and what relationship to Ann are the Simpsons and the others mentioned in the will???? As always in genealogy, there are always more questions!!

Subsequently, my wife found Ann’s death in 1804, which means that by the time she was 12 years old Mary was an orphan. At the least, she had money left in trust for her, and she appears to have had many relatives!

I have another link to the Short line. John Sherrington Ashton, Jr married Martha Wilson Short daughter of James Short and Delley Wilson!! In looking at the marriage my wife saw that Delley was also a widow! More questions,, what was Delley’s  maiden name and where does James fit in??? Oh my………but at least now I have one great genealogist on the trail and  I’ll just try to stay out of the way!!!