William Richard Cutter.

Genealogical and personal memoirs relating to the families of the state of Massachusetts; (Volume 3) online

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Mills near Atlanta, Georgia. He takes a
deep interest in education and is president
of the board of education of Fulton county,

(The Boyden Line).

Among those pilotted across the broad At-
lantic in the early half of the seventeenth
century and to firmly plant the standard of
civil and religious liberty on these shores, was
cme whose name subjoins this memoir. Not
so early a comer as the "Mayflower" con-
tingent, not so pronounced a Separatist as
they, but more of a formalist in religion, nor
yet so stationary in his habitation insomuch
he did not acquire the influence he otherwise
would ; for he was a man of parts and likli-
hood, and had such crude learning as the times
afforded. The principle of heredity obtains
in mental traits somewhat after the manner
of physical characteristics, and as we go back
and study the ancestral stock of the Boydens
we find warrant therein for much that is in
us today. The Boyden disposition is ever the
same, and kindly note it is the right sort to
have. The patriarch of the race had the Boy-
den way of doing things which obtains among
his remote issue. The name is a combina-
tion of boyd from buidhe, yellow-haired, and
den, a valley. It is the name of a river in
England. Boyden would mean a vale on the
river Boyd. It would be used as a surname
by some one who lived in the town of Boyden,
or in the valley of the Boyd.

( 1 ) Thomas Boyden, who planted the race
on American soil, embarked in the good ship
"Francis," from Ipswich, Suffolk, England,
in April, 1634. He located in Scituate,
Massachusetts, and was admitted to the church
there Msfy 17, 1635. His next place of resi-
dence was Watertown, Massachusetts, where
he was made a freeman, May 21, 1647. After
this he is recorded as of Boston, and in 1659
was elected highway surveyor of that penin-
sula plantation. That year he conveyed to
Joshua Scottow seven acres of upland on
Muddy river, now Brookline. The records



show that Thomas removed to Med ford some
time previous to September, 1662, and his
home there was on Pound street. He fol-
lowed the transit of civilization toward the
going-down sun. and in 1666 was living in
Groton, Massachusetts, where he was an
original proprietor in the right of seventy
acres. He was in Watertown again by 1670.
In 1678 he subscribed "one bushel of wheat
to the new brick college," Harvard. In 1682
he was a tithingman in Medford. The fore-
name of his wife was Frances, and she died
in Boston, March 17, 1658. On November 3,
of the same year, he was united in marriage
b\ Governor Bellingham, to Hannah (Phil-
lips) Morse, widow of Joseph Morse. She
died October 3, 1676. Children by Frances :
Thomas, the subject of the next paragraph;
Mary, born October 15, 1641 ; Rebecca, No-
vember 1. 1643: Nathaniel, 1651 ; Jonathan,
February 20, 1052. and Sarah, October 12,

(II) Thomas (2), eldest son of Thomas
( 1 ) and Frances Boyden, was born in Water-
town, September 26, [639, died in Groton,
November 15. 1719. He was in the Indian
wars. He married Martha, eldest daughter
of Richard and Martha Holden. who was
born January 15, 1646, died in Charlestown,
Massachusetts, March 18. 1687. Children:
Martha, born July 14, 1667; Elizabeth, May
24, 1670; John, December 6, 1672: Jonathan,
1675; Joseph (see next paragraph); Benja-
min, March 29. 1683.

(III) Joseph, third son of Thomas (2)
and Martha (Holden) Boyden, was born
April 24, 1678. in Groton, died in Worcester,
Massachusetts, April 17, 1748. He rmoved
to Dedham, now Xeedham. Massachusetts,
where he was selectman in 1721, and one of
the custodians of a fund received by act of
the general court for the use of the town and
the schools. In August, 1735, he kept a public
house in Sutton, Massachusetts, and removed
to Worcester in 1738. where he bought one
hundred acres in Bogachoge. He married
Rebecca, surname unknown. Their children:
Joseph, born October 6. 1705; Daniel, see
next paragraph; John, August 16, 1710 (died
young); Nathaniel, June 3, 1714: Rebecca,
March 6, 1716; John, August 7, 1719.

(IV) Daniel, second son of Joseph and
Rebecca Boyden, was born in Dedham, March
I, 1708, died in Auburn, Massachusetts, Jan-
uary 29, 1782. He settled on a farm in the
south part of Worcester, later removed to
Dedham. His name appears on the tax and

jury list of Worcester in 1741. He was a man
of affairs, selectman for several years, and a
pillar of the first parish church. In 1 77' >.
when a new church was erected in the south
precinct, he was active in promoting the new
society from the first, and remained one of
its most loyal supporters. The south parish
became later Auburn. He was one of the
original proprietors of Dummerston, Vermont,
near the Massachusetts line. He married Mehit-
able. daughter of William and Bethiah Man.
She was born September 1, 171 3. died June 7.
1789. in Auburn. Children: Daniel, born
August 31, 1735 (died young); Mehitable,
October 25, 1730; Hezekiah. November 28,
1739: Daniel, see next paragraph: Darius,
December 6, 1743: William. January 12. 174O;
Esther, December 2^, 1747; Mary, May 17,
1751 ; Tryphena. March 12, 1753; James,
November 3, 1758.

1 \ ) Daniel (2). third son of Daniel (i)
and Mehitable (Alan) Boyden, was born in
Worcester, October 29, 1741, died in Guild-
ford, Windsor county, Vermont, August 29,
1813. He went to the latter place on Green
river in about 175S and was a pioneer settler
there. He was a farmer, and active in public
affairs. He served in the revolution in Captain
Moses Draper's company. Lieutenant Colonel
William Bond's regiment. He inlisted in April,
1778, and was in the service at Cambridge. He
married, June 7, 1764. Rebecca Barber, of Wor-
cester. Children : Daniel, born March 22, 1765 ;
Levi, see next paragraph ; Rebecca, June 11,
1768: Ebenezer, August 17, 1770: Lydia. Try-
hpena, Mary Mehitable and Azuba.

lYl) Levi, second son of Daniel (2) and
Rebecca ( Barber ) Boyden, was born in Wor-
cester. October id, 1766, died April 20, 1859.
I L- married Dolly Smith, of Guildford, in 1790.
She died July 29, 1821. He married (second)
May 1. 1822, Olive Cutter, who died March 21,
1857. Levi Boyden was the parent of Asa, born
December 21, 1702: Hollis, August 25, 1794,
died March 7. 1833; married, 1820. Hannah
Burnett; Nabby, May 11, 1797; William, see
next paragraph; Levi. April 29. 1803; Rectina,
January 2, 1809.

( Ylf ) William, third son of Levi and Dolly
(Smith) Boyden, was born August 26, 1798,
in Guildford, died in Lowell, Massachusetts,
September 12, 1889, at the home of his daugh-
ter, ( iertrude M. He was a likely man in his
home community, and exceedingly well thought
of. He married, February 13, 1825, Susan
Adams, born August 29, 1804, in Ashbv, Mass-
achusetts, died in Chicopee, April 18. 1884.



Children: Frances Jane, born March 19, 1826.
married Hiram Pierce ; William Smith, Decem-
ber 22, 1827; Cora Miranda, March 20, 1830,
married Jesse Tyler; Anna Isabella, April 26,
1832. married Charles Spaulding, of Keene.
New Hampshire; Gertrude Mary, March 5,
1839, married Nelson Whittier. (See Whittier

While some of this family have
ASHLEY ever remained within a few miles

of the sacred spot where the
remote ancestor of them all set up the Ashley
standard in very early times and they have
married and reared up children who have gone
to the making of good citizenry, others of the
blood have wandered to other parts of the
country, to the nearby Housatonic Valley, to
the granite hills of New Hampshire, to the
green fields of Vermont, to the great plains of
the central west, to the golden shores of the
Pacific slope, and there is not a state in the Union
but has some member of the brotherhood. In
the crises of war they have ever been ready to
support the government : in peace they have
been 'activelv identified in the civil, ecclesiasti-
cal and educational movements of their respec-
tive communities. The escutcheon of the
family in England was: Argent, a lion rampart,
sable, crown. Or. The name originated from
ash, a tree, and leigh, a pasture. The first Mr.
Ashley was he who lived in a pasture where
grew the ash trees. Included among the great
men of this line have been Hon. Chester Ashley.
United States senator from Arkansas, the Hon.
James M. Ashley, congressman from the Toledo
district, General John Ashley, of Sheffield,
Massachusetts, of the revolutionary service,
and O. D. Ashley, formerly president of the
Wabash railroad. It is of the Massachusetts
and more particularly the Springfield branch,
the ones who breathed the native air on their
own soil, that this narrative treats.

( I ) Robert Ashley, the founder of the Amer-
ican family, dwelt in Springfield, Massachusetts,
then called Nayasett, three years later than
William Pynchon appeared on the scene In
an allotment of land January 5th, 1640, Robert
had home lot No. 3 of four acres and was on
what is now the northwest corner of Main and
State streets and extended back as far as Spring
street. The lot was situated between the
Widow Searle and John Dibble. His plant-
ing lot was on the west bank of the Con-
necticut river and was No. 12 with seventy
acres and but four others had as large an acre-
age, one of these being Major Pynchon His

"meddow" ground was on the Agawam river,
lot No. 19, with four and one half acres. He
had lot No. 4 of two and one half acres on the
west side of the Connecticut. March 15, 1653,
by purchase from John Leonard he acquired a
parcel of "meddow" in the woods near Swans
pond, on the left hand of the Bay path, and
from the same grantor another "meddow" lot
on the "Greate" river. He bought of Widow
Johns in Long "meddow" a planting lot of six
acres. January 2, 1655, there was granted him
by the town a lot on Round hill. This was
granted upon condition that he would not leave
the town for five years. The town granted him
nine acres lying on the brook that empties into
the Connecticut below the Agawam. Septem-
ber 27, 1656, he purchased of Rice Bedortha
five acres of wet "meddow" on the Mill river.
February I, 1657, the town granted him a
house lot of four acres extending from the
street to the "Greate" river, also two acres of
wet "meddow," and a wood lot of four acres.
February 2 of that year he bought of Samuel
Marshfield three acres of wet "meddow"
adjoining his own, one acre of wet "meddow"
under Round hill and a home lot formerly
belonging to Samuel Ferry. September 18 of
that year he bought of Samuel Ferry three
acres of wet "meddow" and at the same date
was granted by the town four acres of wet
"meddow" by the highway that goes under
Round hill. January 20, 1659, he bought of
Richard Fellows three acres on the side of
Round hill in "ye" plain adjoining his own.
February 12, 1660, the town granted him three
acres in common with two others on the north
branch o.f the brook that empties into "Greate"
river below Agawam. October 18 of that year
he bought of John Riley land in "Chickupee"
plain on "ye west side of ye Greate" river con-
taining forty-three acres. January 1, 1661. he
bought of John Dumbleton twenty-four acres
of land on "ye west side of the 'Greate' river
in Chickupee Plain." February 19th of that
year the town granted him five acres between
the two brooks below "Chickupee plain on ye
west side of the Greate river." provided he
build and dwell thereon or that he would dis-
pose of it only to such as would build or dwell
thereon. March 16 of the same year he was
granted six acres of "meddow" on the back
side of "Chickupee playne," and on same date
the town granted to Captain Pynchon, Robert
Ashley and George Colton a share each of
upland at Woronoco "Meddow," with the pro-
viso that they buy out the Indian rights in said
land. February 6, 1664, the town granted him



four acres of wood lot next beyond Samuel
Ferry's February i, 1665, this was extended to
eight acres. It will thus be seen he was quite
a landed proprietor and a farmer. The ear
mark of his cattle was "in the off ear, a slit cut
in the under side of the ear (not at ye top of
ye ear) but toward ye root of ye ear, the slit
is but a little slanting outward toward ye root
of ye ear." In 1646 he was granted land on
the Mill river on condition that he should keep
an ordinary. The following order was issued
thereon : To Robert Ashley and his wife. keepers
of the ordinary in Springfield; "Whereas it is
famously known how Indians abuse themselves
by excessive drinking of strong liquors whereby
God is grieviously dishonored and the peace of
this Plantation in great danger to be broken.
And whereas you have noe Lycense formerly
and according to law to sell eyther wine or
strong waters to English or Indians. These
are therefore to will and require you uppon
yo perill that you henceforth forbear to sell
eyther wine or strong waters to any Indian
though for selling to the English wee would
not restrayne you but doe allow yr of." This
order was signed by the commissioners of the
town and was perhaps the first prohibitory
law in America. The best men were selected
for tavern keepers. Robert resigned in 1660.
\Ye have seen he was granted a home lot on
the west side of the river with the proviso that
he dwell thereon. Accordingly he built on the
hillside in that part of West Springfield known
as Riverdale. which was the first part of that
village to be settled. He was a juryman in
1639-54-61-62-64-67-70. He was a litigant in
these causes. December, 1640, he sold his canoe
to some outside parties against the law of the
plantation and was ordered to return it or be
liable forfeiture. In February, 1 641, he en-
tered a complaint against John Woodcock for
not delivering him a gun he had paid for. The
jury found for him in the sum of twenty-two
shillings. He petitioned the commissioner for
damage for a horse killed by a Nepannett
Indian. The commissioners ordered the
sachem to pay twenty pounds or deliver up the
Indian that killed the horse. In September,
1650, he entered complaint against Richard
Fellows for detaining a sword from him. This
action he withdrew, promising to pay costs of
action. In September. 1660, Miles Morgan
sued Robert Ashley for wrongfully impound-
ing his swine. In 1665 he was fined for ab-
senting himself from town meeting. He was
a fence viewer in 1646-50 and highway sur-
veyor in 1651-67. He was selectman in 1653

and for twelve successive years thereafter,
being chairman of the board in 165 1. Refus-
ing to serve longer he was fined twenty shil-
lings. He was a constable in 1659 and sealer
of weights and measures. He took the oath
of allegiance and fidelity March 23, 1655. Mr.
Ashley took a deep interest in church affairs
and this was not a perfunctory interest. He
dearly loved the church and was strong in the
faith of the ever living God. He sat in pew
No. one and served on the seating committee
and was rate collector. From all this we
gather that Robert was a man of solid parts,
trustworthy, which his townspeople were quick
to recognize. He was just the man for a town
builder and to be the corner stone of a great
family. His shoulders were broad. He did
not sign his name but this was nothing to his
disparagement considering the state of edu-
cation then. He died November 25, 1682, and
his will was executed October 9, 1679. Major
John Pynchon and John Holyoke were the wit-
nesses and his son Joseph administered. His
appraisement was four hundred and ninety-
two pounds, which was quite an estate in those
days. He married, in 1641, Mary, widow of
Thomas Horton, of Springfield. She died
September 19, 1683. When he married her
she had two sons by her former husband, the
record declares, "one sucking, the other three
years old." Children of Robert Ashley:
David, and a girl (twins), Mary, Jonathan,
Sarah, and Joseph, sketched below.

( II ) Joseph, youngest son of Robert and
Marv Ashley, was born in Springfield, July
6, 1652, died there May 18, 1698. He settled
in West Springfield in the Riverdale district.
He inherited all his father's land and besides
owned plots in the Farm Meadow in the
Chickupee field and on the Agawam river, in
Springfield proper on the east side of the
Connecticut. He was surveyor in 1675-77 ar >d
took the oath of allegiance in 1678. In 1682
he was constable and the same year "prizer
for the Town stock for making the Towne's
Rates." In 1683 he was fence viewer. He
was a litigant in these causes. On July 31,
1679, he was brought before the court for
taking the horse of Isaac Morgan out of the
pasture and riding it, for which he was fined
ten shillings. In 1680.. in September, he was
fined five shillings for working his horses two
hours after sun down the night before the
Lord's day, and in December of the same year
he got an attachment against Thomas Han-
cock. In March. 1682. he was presented to the
court for taking the marking of another man's



horse and fined ten shillings. In September,
1684, he was fined forty shillings for not col-
lecting the county rates, he being then con-
stable. In May, 1685, he was presented for
ten rods of defective fence and fined fifteen
shillings. In 1686 he was fined nine shillings
for want of a stake, and in February, 1691,
was fined six shillings for absenting himself
from town meeting. In January, 1693, he was
fined five shillings for refusing to perform
his duties as fence viewer. This all goes to
show for what trivial offences the colonists
were made to smart in fines and the obnoxious
character of the blue laws. Everything tends
to prove that Joseph was an estimable neigh-
bor, a kind friend, and deserving townsman.
He married Alary, daughter of Cornet Joseph
and Mary (Bliss) Parsons, who was born in
Northampton, Massachusetts, June 27, 1661.
After Joseph's death she married Joseph Wil-
liston, of Springfield, and died August 23,
171 1. The accurate historian is compelled to
record an unfortunate affair in Joseph's life, a
domestic difficulty, in consequence of which,
his wife in 1687 applied for a divorce. This
was perhaps the first divorce case ever entered
in the old Bay Colony. The affair was amic-
ably adjusted through the exertion of friends
to the mutual satisfaction of both and they
lived together ever afterwards. Children:
Joseph (sketched below), Ebenezer, Alary,
Abigail and Benjamin.

(III) Joseph (2). eldest son of Joseph (1)
and Mary (Parsons) Ashley, was born in
Springfield, April 16, 1686, died there April
2, 1780. He lived in Springfield proper on the
east side of the Connecticut and in the south
part of the town. He was a joiner and farmer.
In November, 1717, he was paid five shillings
for work on the pound and for work at "ye
schoole" house six shillings, for a "Greate
Chaire for ye school" and five shillings for re-
pairing meeting house. He was a fence
viewer in 1 7 10, a tythingman in 1723 and con-
stable in 1729. He was a member of the
church and was one of the principals in the
famous Breck controversy disputing that
preacher's orthodoxy. He married Mary Bid-
well, December 15, 1720, and she died July 14,
1733. Children: Joseph, John, who lost his
life at Louisburg; Mary. Ruth, David
(sketched below) and Stephen.

(IV) David, third son of Joseph (2) and
Alary (Bidwell) Ashley, was born in Spring-
field, May 8, 1731, and died there July 15,
1800. He settled on the patrimonial estate in
Springfield where he always lived. He was a

private in Colonel Gideon Burt's Hampshire
county regiment which marched to retake
Samuel Ely who was rescued from Spring-
field jail, June 12, 1782, and also opposed the
rioters at Northampton on the 16th. He mar-
ried Vashti Brooks, January 1, 1756. After
David's death she married John Charter and
removed with her son to Vershire, Vermont,
where she lived to be one hundred and four
years old. Children of David : David, died in
infancy; Ruth, David, Lucy, Daniel (sketched
below), Olive (died young), Luke, Olive.
Timothy and Polly .

(V) Daniel, third son of David and Vashti
(Brooks) Ashley, was born in Springfield,
September 22, 1764, died there August 8,
1812. He lived in the south part of Spring-
field proper and was a farmer. His farm was
a large one and extended along Mill river,
towards Longmeadow. He was a member of
Colonel Burt's Hampshire county regiment
that marched to retake Samuel Ely, June 12,
1782, also opposed the rioters at Northampton
the 16th. He married Sally Hunt, of Spring-
field, September 17, 1784, who died June 11,
1818. Children: Elizabeth, David (sketched
below), James, Sally Brewer, Daniel and

(VI) David (2), eldest son of David (1)
and Sally (Hunt) Ashley, was born in Spring-
field in 1787, died there June 30, 1816. He
continued the line of activity followed by the
members of the family since the first Robert
and was a farmer. He was in addition a
wheelwright and employed at the armory. He
married Sophia, daughter of Henry and Atercy
(Sackett) Brass, who was born in Wilbra-
ham, Alassachusetts. After David died she
married a Sanderson and then John Charter.
She died November 3, 1855. Children: Har-
riet. Sophia, and David Franklin (sketched

(VII) David Franklin, youngest son of
David (2) and Sophia (Brass) Ashley, was
born at Water Shops, Springfield, June 4,
1815. When a mere lad he went to live with
an uncle in Westfield, Alassachusetts. There
he remained until sixteen years of age, going
to school winters and working on the farm in
summer. At seventeen he entered the office
of Hampden Whig as an apprentice and there
served three years. The paper fell under a
new management and David took charge of
the mechanical side of it. In a year's time he
had saved money enough from his earnings
to become half owner and the name of the
paper was changed to the Hampden Post and

V ■■' >


the politics shifted from Whig to pure dem-
ocracy. Later. Mr. Ashley assumed full con-
trol, buying out his partner. The paper was
changed to a tri-weekly and later to a daily,
lie also conducted the Northampton Demo-
crat. The Daily Post was run until 1853. In
the Know Nothing times from 1854 to i860 he
published the American. About this time he
turned his attention to the wholesale yankee
* notion trade, selling by teams on the road. He
was the first of the Ashleys to break away
from an agricultural and mechanical life. In
politics he was first a Jaeksonian Democrat
and subsequently joined the Know Nothings.
He never cared for political office. He was an
independent religious thinker. Mr. Ashley's
memory carries him back to the early days
of Springfield when it was a small village of
three thousand inhabitants. He bought the
lot on Worthington street where the school
house now stands for four hundred dollars,
and in a few years was offered ten times that
sum. He married Elvira A., daughter of
Hiram and Adeline (Patton) Hendrick, of
South W'ilbraham, now Hampden. She was
educated in the public schools and at Wilbra-
ham Academy. She is a woman of the most
estimable and amiable qualities, and in reli-
gious preferences a Second Adventist. Chil-
dren: 1. Frank E, of Troy, New York. 2.
[sabel E.. wife of John I. Kelly, of Springfield.
3. Winona Adeline, wife of Frank W. Tower,
of Springfield. 4. Hendrick Patton, a com-
mercial traveler. 5. Herbert Horton, also on
tlie mad.

This name is spelled by those who
ABBE bear it, as well as by others, Abbee,

Abbie, Abbe, Abbey. It was per-
haps originally given to some menial attached
to a monastery a- ••John of the Abbey;" more
probably, however, from Abbe, the ecclesi-
astical title, since we find it written in ancient
rolls as le Abbe. The Scottish form is Abbay.
The Abbes were originally settlers in Enfield.
Connecticut, where they have ever since been
found. They have been among the good citi-
zens of the town and have been patriotic and
brave, and the records show that they were
soldiers in the French wars and the revolu-

( 1 ) Thomas Abbe is supposed to have been
a brother of Obadiah Abbe, a first settler
(1682) of Enfield, who died without children
in 1732. Thomas settled in Enfield in 1683 on
the eleventh lot, east side, north of the south
corner, and was also one of the original pro-

prietors. In the record of land grants is the
following: "Thomas Abbe, sen 1 is poss d of A
Farm or tract of land lying In the Mountains
Near the North East Corner of the Township
of Enfield Lying 160 rods in length, and 150
rods in Wedth Easterly and westerly and is

Online LibraryWilliam Richard CutterGenealogical and personal memoirs relating to the families of the state of Massachusetts; (Volume 3) → online text (page 26 of 145)