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Joseph Ashburn (abt. 1750 - 1782)

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Capt Joseph Ashburn
Born about in Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvaniamap
Son of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married in New Jerseymap
[children unknown]
Died in Old Mill Prison, Devon, Plymouth, Englandmap
Ashburn-138 created 7 Sep 2015 | Last modified
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Categories: 1776 Project | Prisoners of War, United States of America, American Revolution.

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Event years 1773-1789.
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Capt Joseph Ashburn was Prisoner of War during American Revolution.

Married Betsy Griscom Ross on 15 Jun 1777.[1]

Betsy would be married again in June 1777, this time to sea captain Joseph Ashburn in a ceremony performed at Old Swedes Church in Philadelphia.

During the winter of 1777, Betsy's home was forcibly shared with British soldiers whose army occupied Philadelphia. Meanwhile the Continental Army was suffering that most historic winter at Valley Forge.

Betsy and Joseph had two daughters (Zillah, who died in her youth, and Elizabeth). On a trip to the West Indies to procure war supplies for the Revolutionary cause, Captain Ashburn was captured by the British and sent to Old Mill Prison in England where he died in March 1782, several months after the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown, Virginia, the last major battle of the Revolutionary War.

Betsy learned of her husband's death from her old friend, John Claypoole, another sailor imprisoned at the brutal Old Mill.

He died of illness in Old Mill Prison ,in Devonshire, after being captured on the high seas during the American Revolution.[2]


  1. Name: Joseph Ashburn Marriage Date: 15 Jun 1777 Marriage Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Spouse's Name: Elizabeth Ross Original data: Pennsylvania Marriage Records. Harrisburg, PA: Pennsylvania Archives Printed Series, 1876. Series 2, Series 6.
  2. Genealogy of the Claypoole family of Philadelphia, 1588-1893, page 77

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No known carriers of Joseph's ancestors' Y-chromosome or mitochondrial DNA have taken yDNA or mtDNA tests.

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Joseph is 17 degrees from AJ Jacobs, 20 degrees from Jeanie Roberts, 14 degrees from Myles Standish and 17 degrees from Queen Elizabeth II Windsor on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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