John Lawrence Ashbery was born in Rochester, New York, to Chester Ashbery and Helen Lawrence, both of whom were college graduates. Helen was a biology teacher.
In early childhood, John experienced a dislocation that was traumatic for him, moving at the age of seven from his maternal grandparents’ house in Rochester
to his father’s fruit farm outside Sodus, near Lake Ontario in upstate
Growing up in the snowbelt he amused himself with books and magazines during the winter and he spent summers working unenthusiastically in his father’s cherry orchards.
In 1979 , he purchased a house in Hudson, New York which resembled his grandparents home on Dartmouth Street in Rochester and is featured in Architectural Digest.
He has published more than twenty volumes of poetry and won nearly every major American award for poetry, including a Pulitzer Prize in 1976 for his collection Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror.
"United States Census, 1930," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:X4GS-SQJ : accessed 16 November 2018), John L Ashberry in household of Chester F Ashberry, Sodus, Wayne, New York, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 37, sheet 2A, line 1, family 34, NARA microfilm publication T626 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2002), roll 1658; FHL microfilm 2,341,392.
"United States Census, 1940," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K7SW-QQ8 : 14 March 2018), John Ashberry in household of Chester Ashberry, Sodus Town, Wayne, New York, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 59-48, sheet 7A, line 19, family 189, Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940, NARA digital publication T627. Records of the Bureau of the Census, 1790 - 2007, RG 29. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2012, roll 2801.