Ashley

  • 105 members

About us

The Y-DNA project results to date show 8 separate matched groups, each of which probably share a different common male ancestor within the genealogical time frame or at least the surname era (the time period since Ashley has been used as a hereditary family name), as well as 16 other Ashley men whose results indicate that they probably do not share a common male ancestor with any other man in the project within the genealogical time frame. This indicates that there are at least 24 separate male Ashley lines that do not share a common male ancestor within the genealogical time frame. Interestingly, the genetic distances between the kits in the 8 different groups is so far apart that it is virtually certain that none of the 8 groups share a common male ancestor within any time period even close to the genealogical time frame, and they are not related to each other any more closely than paternal lines with completely different surnames. (For FTDNA's guidelines for interpreting STR results, see Expected Relationships with Y-DNA STR Matches. The Y-DNA Family Grouping App was used to assist in placing all the project's kits into groups and to compare genetic distances between all kits in the project.)

Set forth below is discussion of specific findings from the Y-DNA results as they relate to Ashley genealogy:

Group 1 test takers' descent from John ("Papa John") Ashley of Anson, NC, Laurens, SC, and Coffee, TN confirmed; relationship with other members of the project highly unlikely - All three kits in Group 1 (130576, 16356, and 26181) claim descent from Papa John Ashley of NC, SC and TN, b. 1752. This claimed descent is supported by their Y-DNA results, which show that kits 130576 and 16356 have a genetic distance of 0 on a comparison of 37 markers and have a genetic distance of 1 from kit 26181 on a comparison of 37 markers.The results for the kits in Group 1 make it virtually certain that those kits do not share a common male ancestor with any other kits in the project within the genealogical time frame (15 generations), as the closest any of the three kits comes to any other kit in the project is a genetic distance of 20 on a comparison of 37 markers, while a genetic distance of 6 on a comparison of 37 markers is enough to make it highly unlikely that test takers share a common male ancestor within the genealogical time frame. It is thus highly unlikely that Papa John Ashley was related to any of the other Ashley progenitors. 

Common ancestry of Group 2 members established; relationship with other members of the project highly unlikely - The results for the members of Group 2 indicate that they all probably share a common male ancestor within the genealogical time frame; however, further genealogical research will be needed to determine the the relationship between the group's members. The results also indicate that it is highly unlikely that any member of Group 2 is has a common male ancestor with any project member outside of Group 2 within the genealogical time frame (15 generations). The closest any kit in Group 2 comes to any kit in the project outside of Group 2 is a genetic distance of 13 on a comparison of 37, while a genetic distance of 6 on a comparison of 37 is enough to make it highly unlikely that test takers share a common ancestor within the genealogical time frame.

Results indicate that Rev William Ashley, Jr., b. abt 1783 and Howel Ashley, b. abt 1784 may not have been brothers - Genealogy IIB on the Background page (based on Ron Blevin's well-researched "Ashley Families of Northwestern North Carolina") indicates that Rev William Ashley, Jr., b. abt 1783 and Howel Ashley, b. abt 1784 were brothers, based largely on the fact that they are listed sequentially in the 1810 Surry County census and a lack of other candidates besides William Ashley, Sr. as a father. However, the Y-DNA results for kit 387815 (in Group 2), which claims descent from Rev William Ashley, Jr, and kit 453756 (in the Unmatched Group), which claims descent from Howel Ashley, have a genetic distance of 38 on a 37-marker comparison, which indicates that the two test takers definitely do not descend from a common male ancestor within the genealogical time period. Therefore, either one of the two test takers is not genetically descended from the ancestors he thought he was descended from (e.g., do to an NPE or genealogical error) or Rev William Ashley, Jr. and Howel Ashley were not only not brothers, but not descended from a common male ancestor.

Results indicate that Cary Ashley, b. abt 1800, r. Jefferson County, TN and John Spencer Ashley, b. 1814 in NC may not have been brothers - Genealogy IIB shows that Cary Ashley, b. abt 1800 and lived in Jefferson County, TN, and and John Spencer Ashley were brothers. However, the Y-DNA results for kit 387815 (in Group 2), which claims descent from John Spencer Ashley and kit 73742 (in the Unmatched Group), which claims descent from Cary Ashley have a genetic distance of 20 on a 25-marker comparison, which indicates that the two test takers definitely do not descend from a common male ancestor within the genealogical time period. Therefore, either one of the two test takers is not genetically descended from the ancestors he thought he was descended from (e.g., do to an NPE or genealogical error) or the Cary Ashley that is claimed as an ancestor by kit 73742 was not the son of Rev William Ashley, Jr.

Common ancestry of Group 3 members established; relationship with other members of the project (other than kit 29797) highly unlikely - The results for the members of Group 3 indicate that they all probably share a common male ancestor within the genealogical time frame; however, further genealogical research will be needed to determine the the relationship between the group's members. The results also indicate that it is highly unlikely that any member of Group 3 is has a common male ancestor with any project member outside of Group 3 within the genealogical time frame (15 generations), with the exception of unmatched kit 29797.  Kit 29797 has a genetic distance of 3 on a comparison of 25 markers from members of Group 3, which indicate that he is "possibly" related to the members of Group 3 within the genealogical time frame (15 generations). Apart from kit 29797, the closest any kit in Group 3 comes to any Ashley kit in the project outside of Group 3 is a genetic distance of 53 on a comparison of 67, while a genetic distance of 8 on a comparison of 67 is enough to make it highly unlikely that test takers share a common ancestor within the genealogical time frame.

Common ancestry of Group 4 members established; relationship with other members of the project highly unlikely - The results for the members of Group 4 indicate that they all probably share a common male ancestor within the genealogical time frame; however, further genealogical research will be needed to determine the the relationship between the group's members. The results also indicate that it is highly unlikely that any member of Group 4 is has a common male ancestor with any project member outside of Group 4 within the genealogical time frame (15 generations). The closest any kit in Group 4 comes to any kit in the project outside of Group 4 is a genetic distance of 13 on a comparison of 37, while a genetic distance of 6 on a comparison of 37 is enough to make it highly unlikely that test takers share a common ancestor within the genealogical time frame.

Common ancestry of Group 5 members established; relationship with other members of the project highly unlikely - The results for the members of Group 5 indicate that they all probably share a common male ancestor within the genealogical time frame; however, further genealogical research will be needed to determine the the relationship between the group's members. Most of the group members claim descent from John Ashley of Mecklenburg, NC, who moved to Pulaski, KY; however, two members of the group claim descent from Thomas Ashley of Lancaster, VA (who is also claimed as an ancestor by a member of Group 7) and one claims descent from an ancestor of the Ashley-Cooper family in England. The results also indicate that it is highly unlikely that any member of Group 5 is has a common male ancestor with any project member outside of Group 5 within the genealogical time frame (15 generations). The closest any kit in Group 5 comes to any kit in the project outside of Group 5 is a genetic distance of 14 on a comparison of 37, while a genetic distance of 6 on a comparison of 37 is enough to make it highly unlikely that test takers share a common ancestor within the genealogical time frame. 

Group 6 test takers' descent from Squire Staggs Ashley confirmed; relationship with other members of the project highly unlikely - All three kits in Group 6 (81045, 85295, and 107391) claim descent from Squire Staggs Ashley, b. 1806. This claimed descent is supported by their Y-DNA results, which show that the kits in the group have a genetic distanced from each other of 1-3 on a comparison of 37 markers. The results for the kits in Group 6 make it virtually certain that those kits do not share a common male ancestor with any other kits in the project within the genealogical time frame (15 generations), as the closest any of the three kits comes to any other kit in the project is a genetic distance of 15 on a comparison of 37 markers, while a genetic distance of 6 on a comparison of 37 markers is enough to make it highly unlikely that test takers share a common male ancestor within the genealogical time frame. It is thus highly unlikely that Squire Staggs Ashley was related to any of the other Ashley progenitors.

Common ancestry of Group 7 members established; relationship with other members of the project highly unlikely - The results for the members of Group 7 indicate that they all probably share a common male ancestor within the genealogical time frame; however, further genealogical research will be needed to determine the the relationship between the group's members. The results also indicate that it is highly unlikely that any member of Group 7 is has a common male ancestor with any project member outside of Group 7 within the genealogical time frame (15 generations). The closest any kit in Group 7 comes to any kit in the project outside of Group 7 is a genetic distance of 14 on a comparison of 67, while a genetic distance of 8 on a comparison of 67 is enough to make it highly unlikely that test takers share a common ancestor within the genealogical time frame.

Inconsistent results for kits claiming descent from Thomas Ashley, b. abt 1660 of Lancaster County, VA - Three different kits claim Thomas Ashley, b. abt 1660 of Lancaster County, VA as an ancestor: 65288, 80288 and 91734. The Y-DNA results show that at list one of them is almost certainly incorrect. Kits 65288 and 80288 (in Group 5) probably share a common male ancestor in the genealogical time, but that kit 91734 (in Group 7) has a genetic distance of 12 on a 25-marker comparison from kit 65288 and a genetic distance of 20 on a 37-marker comparison from kit 80288, which makes it extremely unlikely that kit 91734 shares a common ancestor with the other two kits. 
 

Group 8 test takers' descent from Joseph Ashley of Rochester, MA confirmed; relationship with other members of the project highly unlikely - Both kits in Group 8 (464788 and 72529) claim descent from Joseph Ashley of Rochester, MA, b. about 1675. This claimed descent is supported by their Y-DNA results, which show that the kits have a genetic distance of 5 on a comparison of 67 STRs. Genealogical records show that both kit 464788 and kit 72529 are descended from Joseph's son Thomas, b. 1704. Kit 464788 is descended from Thomas's son Enoch Ashley, while kit 72529 is descended from Thomas's son William.The results for the kits in Group 8 make it highly unlikely that those kits share a common male ancestor with any other kits in the project within the genealogical time frame (15 generations), as the closest either of the kits comes to any other kit in the project is a genetic distance of 14 on a comparison of 67 markers, while a genetic distance of more than 7 on a comparison of 67 is enough to make it highly unlikely that test takers share a common male ancestor within the genealogical time frame.

Doubt cast on part of theory that Thomas Ashley of Kennebec, Maine was progenitor to southern Ashleys and Joseph Ashley of Rochestor, but which part? - Solid evidence exists that at least one grandson of Thomas Ashley of Kennebec, Maine (by the name of Thomas) and perhaps two others (by the names of William and Edward) moved to North Carolina about 1700-10. (See discussion in the wikitree profiles for Thomas's probable sons Thomas Ashley and Edward Ashley.) It is thus quite possible that some southern Ashleys are descended from Thomas Ashley of Kennebec. It has also been speculated that Thomas Ashley of Kennebec was the father of Joseph Ashley of Rochester, MA. (See discussion in wikitree profile of Joseph Ashley of Rochester.) The fact that the YDNA results for the descendants of Joseph Ashley of Rochester, MA do not match with the YDNA results of any of the southern Ashleys means that (i) Thomas Ashley of Kennebec did not leave a line of male descendants in the south, (ii) no male southern descendant of Thomas Ashley of Kennebec has been tested yet, and/or (iii) Thomas Ashley of Kennebec was not the father (or other male relative) of Joseph Ashley of Rochester, MA.

Results indicate that James Ashley of Rochester, MA was not a male lineal descendant of Joseph Ashley of Rochester - Unmatched kit 207326 claims descent from James Ashley of Rochester, MA. Records show that James was the son of a Mary Ashley. However, there are conflicting theories as to whether James was a son of Thomas (son of Joseph) and his wife Mary (Gifford) Ashley or was the illegitimate son of Joseph's unmarried daughter Mary Ashley (who was known to have borne at least one child). (See discussion in the wikitree profile for James Ashley.) Since kit 207326 shows a genetic distance of 19 and 23, respectively, on a comparison of 67 STRs from kits 464788 and 72529 in Group 8 (the confirmed descendants of Thomas Ashley), this evidence makes it unlikely that James was the son of Thomas and thus more likely that he was the son of Mary Ashley, unmarried daughter of Joseph Ashley.