Alexander Ashenhurst was born near Newtonstewart, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland on December 25, 1819. His parents were William and Sarah (Campbell) Ashenhurst. It is believed he had 2 sisters, Ellen (Coulter), and Sarah (Campbell), and one brother John.
Alexander Ashenhurst and Elizabeth Isabella McConnell were married April 9, 1846 in Strabane, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland.
The Ashenhurst couple must have migrated overseas to Canada sometime between their marriage and the birth of their first son born, according to his obituary, along Yonge Street, York Township, Ontario, in 1851. Dr. Alexander W. Ashenhurst, wrote that a Georgetown library historian told him that his great-grandfather Alexander Ashenhurst first moved to the Markham-Uxbridge area about 1848 before moving on to Halton County.
In fact, census data tells us the Ashenhurst's weren't settled in Esquesing, Halton County until the 1881 survey. The 1871 census and 1861 census finds them living in the township of Chinguacousy, Peel County. There is no record of their whereabouts at the time of the 1852 census. While each census finds each Ashenhurst getting younger as time passes, the obituaries, death registrations, and the tombstone makes some sense of their actual birthdates.
The obituaries left by each of Alexander and Isabella's children give the best accounts of the Ashenhurst's migration: James (1851-1917), Sarah Jane (1855-1939), William (1859-1933), and Alexander (1862-1932). Each spent their lives unmarried with the exception of Alexander. York Mills is indicated as the birthplaces for the first 3 children, so it may be assumed they resided in York county throughout the 1850's, Chinguacousy from 1860 to 1872-73, and finally Esquesing, from 1872ish to 1939, when the last one passed on. They lived in a two story brick house near Ashgrove surrounded by land which they farmed.
Isabella's precise death date is uncertain. While her death year is inscribed on the headstone as 1871, there is no official record of her death. It's quite possible the date is a guess since the year 1909, marked for patriarch Alexander, is a year off the actual one. The headstone, therefore, might not have been erected until some years after, perhaps to mark the death of one of the children.
On February 3, 1875, Alexander married a second time to Ann E. Walton, who was 25 years his junior. She remained with him at the time of the 1881 census but had disappeared by 1891. It's unknown what happened to her.
Alexander Ashenhurst lived 90 years until his death in 1910. Three of his four children were still residing with him, according to the 1911 census. Summary by G. Patrick MacKay.
Marriage Between Alexander Ashenhurst and Isabella McConnell
Update (Sept 2011) : information to further add to the above April 9, 1846 date is provided by rootsireland.ie which gives her name as ELIZABETH McConnell, daughter of James, and he is Alexander Ashenhurst, son of William. Her birth is spot on at 1827, while he is recorded as being 8 years younger than what's on his tombstone.
Note (April 2016) : Guessing which church the couple were married leads to the Ardstraw Parish Church in Newtownstewart, or, St. Eugene's Church of Ireland, Ardstraw Parish.
Note (Oct 2018) : New marriage info, source added from Familysearch
Marriage between Alexander Ashenhurst and Ann E Walton
Date: February 23, 1875
Place: Esquesing, Ontario, Canada
Groom: Alexander Ashenhurst
Age: 45 (1830)
Marital Status: Widower
Residence: Esquesing, Ontario
Mother: Sarah Campbell
Father: William Ashenhurst
Bride: Ann E. Walton
Age: 33 (1842)
Marital Status: Widower
Residence: Esquesing, Ontario
Mother: Catherine E. Walton
Father: William Walton
Religious denomination: Episcopalian
Witnesses: Robert Thurston, Sarah McIntosh, both of Esquesing
1861 Census -- Peel, Township of Chinguacousy, District #3, 1 & 1/2 story log house, Poll:C-1062, p.47
Alexander Ashenhurst -- 39 -- 1822, Ireland, Labourer, Church of England
Isabella Ashenhurst -- 28 -- 1833, Ireland
James Ashenhurst -- 11 -- 1850, Upper Canada, attending school
Sarah J Ashenhurst -- 4 -- 1857, Upper Canada
William Ashenhurst -- 2 -- 1859, Upper Canada
According to the obituaries of Alexander Ashenhurst's children the family arrived in Esquesing in 1870, coming from York Mills. For at least 10 years previous they were registered in Chinguacousy (close to the boundary with Esquesing.) No record has been found for York Mills.
A listing of burials for Hillcrest Cemetery indicate he was buried November 18, 1910.
"In 1926, A. Ashenhurst from Playter Blvd, Toronto, writes to Dublin to a Mr. Ashenhurst and asks for information. He says, "my father came from there (Co. Tyrone) to Canada in 1846. He had a brother John who came out a few years later, they both settled about 30 miles from Toronto."
"The local library historian (Georgetown) told me that my great grandfather moved to the Markham-Uxbridge area about 1848 before moving to the Georgetown area. I have no record of his mother. Perhaps she is in a cemetery in your area."
Source: letter correspondence from Alec Ashenhurst, Feb. 25, 1996
Here is a link to a YouTube video from December 2009, which shows the late Dr. Alex W. Ashenhurst (1940-2012) giving a brief history of the original Esquesing line of the Ashenhurst family at Hillcrest Cemetery in Norval Ontario, on the occasion of his sister Sandra MacKay-Szabo's burial.
WikiTree profile Ashenhurst-20 created through the import of Ashenhurst-Descendants.ged on Feb 6, 2012 by Graeme MacKay. See the Changes page for the details of edits by Graeme and others.
↑ Ireland Marriages, 1619-1898." index, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org): accessed 13 February 2012, entry for Alexander Ashenhurst and Isabella McConnell, married 9 April 1846: citing Marriage Records. FHL microfilm 101,284; Index entries derived from digital copies of originals housed in various repositories throughout Ireland.
↑ "Marriage records, 1845-1870, with indexes to marriages, 1845-1921, in the General Registry Office of Ireland"; Indexing Project (Batch) Number - M70174-1; System Origin - Ireland-ODM; Source Film Number - 101281
↑ "Ireland Civil Registration, 1845-1913," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QGP2-B8C3 : 24 September 2018), Alexander Ashenhurst and Isabella McConnell, Marriage 9 Apr 1846, Ardstraw, Strabane, County Tyrone, Ireland; citing General Register Office, Dublin; FHL microfilm .
↑ Ontario, Canada. Registrations of Marriages, 1869-1928. MS932, Reels 1-833, 850-880. Archives of Ontario, Toronto. Registration 003044#
↑ "Canada Census, 1851," Database and images, FamilySearch (http://www.familysearch.org: accessed February 16, 2012), entry for Alexander Ashenhurst age ?; citing Census Records canada film number ?; Census, Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
↑ "Ontario Census, 1861." index and images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org: accessed February 16, 2012. Entry for Ashenhurst; Peel, Township of Chinguacousy, District #3. Microfilm C-1062; Canada Board of Registration and Statistics, Public Archives of Canada, Ottawa, Canada.
↑ "Canada Census, 1871." Index and images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org: accessed February 16, 2012), entry for Ashenhurst; Peel, Township of Chinguacousy, District #39, Division 4, Sub District D, reference 181, page 51 Canadian film C_9958; National Archives of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario.
↑ "Canada Census, 1881." index and images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org: accessed February 16, 2012), entry for Ashenhurst; Halton, Esquesing, District#150, Sub-District G, Division 1, roll C_13258, Page: 24, Family No: 110, FHL microfilm 1375894; Public Archives of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario.
↑ "Canada Census, 1891." index and images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org: accessed February 16, 2012), entry for Ashenhurst; Halton, Esquesing Township, District #71, Division#2, roll T-6340, Family No: 22, reference library and archives Canada film 30953_148142; National Archives of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
↑ "Canada Census, 1901." index and images, entry for Ashenhurst; Halton, Esquesing Township, District #68, Sub District C-3, Page 7, Family No: 72, reference library and archives Canada film T-6470; National Archives of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; April 8-9
↑ Archives of Ontario. Division Registrar Vital Statistics Records, 1858-1930. MS 940, reels 5-10, 16, 21, 26-27. Archives of Ontario, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Registration# 013611
Alexander E. Ashenhurst (1905-1987) and his wife Lois (Brown) (1910-1992)in a conversation recorded in 1975 with their son Alex (1940-2012):
ALEX Sr -- As I recollect that in 1916 (Uncle James) died of pneumonia, and of course my grandfather had died prior to that. And my Aunt Jen and Uncle Will lived on and then they finally sold the farm to a chap, his name was George Wilson, as I recollect. And I don’t know who the present owners are.
ALEX Jr — Well, Wilson sold it recently, I guess to the sons of the Wilsons
ALEX Sr — But I remember when they sold the farm. I think they got $10,000 for it – a hundred acres. But I used to go up there every summer for a few weeks and we’d shoot groundhogs and so on. I remember seeing the...
LOIS — And Uncle Jim took you to the Ice Cream Parlor
ALEX Jr. -- Well where was... Was Uncle Jim, was he buried in the Norval cemetery?
ALEX Sr. -- Yep.
ALEX Jr. -- And so was great grandfather?
ALEX Sr. -- My great grandfather, and grandfather, and my aunt, and my uncle, the two of them they were all buried in Norval
ALEX Jr. – “What about your grandmother, was she buried (in Norval Cemetary) too?”
ALEX Sr. – “I don’t know. I never saw her. But my grandfather was married twice. And the four children were from the first marriage, and the second marriage, I don’t know who she was, but she died with no children. But I never saw her.”
ALEX Jr. -- Well then uncle Will and aunt Jen – they’re buried in Norval cemetery.
ALEX Sr. -- Oh yes.
ALEX Jr. -- And he was a council man in Georgetown.
ALEX Sr. -- He was a councillor up in Georgetown. They moved to Georgetown when he retired and sold the property. They moved to Georgetown and they bought that place just south of that big house where John R Barbara died, there's a lower ravine in between.
ALEX Jr. -- Yeah, that's right. They both still exist.
ALEX Sr. – But they had Corstella, Stella Coulter (Died March 16, 1989 Source: Georgetown Herald (Georgetown, ON), 25 Mar 1989, p. 17)http://news.haltonhills.halinet.on.ca/2326261/page/17?n=20&q=stella%20mcdonald%20coulter&docid=OOI.2326261, they sort of – she lived with them. Her aunt Tilly Coulter lived with them for a number of years. She was sort of, almost like a housekeeper I guess you would say, and Stella was her niece. But they, she died of a, I guess a carcinoma of the esophagus. There was a fellow by the name of Nielson, a chiropractor who looked after her. I guess he’s dead now.
ALEX Jr. – Sounds familiar, too.
ALEX Sr. – He’s was a bit of a quack, I think. But anyway they carried on and Stella lived with them and eventually my uncle Will died.
ALEX Jr. – Going back I guess grandfather came from Ireland. They came to Argyle… Belfast…
ALEX Sr. – Probably -- I think it was Newtonstewart, Newtonstewart in Northern Ireland.
ALEX Jr. – So any other Ashenhursts in Toronto aren’t related to him at all. They’d be Ashenhursts from Ireland.
ALEX Sr. – There was another Ashenhurst that was a nursing assistant at St. Joe’s there, and she came – she was Irish, and came from, well she and her husband, his was the Ashenhurst, they came from the same area up there and I think they moved up to Burlington now, he used to work for Ensign Motors as a mechanic.
ALEX Jr. – So actually of all the Ashenhursts, of your grandfather came over, Jim and I are the only ones left.
ALEX Sr. – Well no. There’s another group of Ashenhursts that lived around Goodwood around Uxbridge. One of their sons was Reedy Ashenhurst who lived down on Mayfair in Swansea, he’d probably knows more about it than me and I think his brother lives in Burlington, too -- but his father ran a farm in Goodwood near Uxbridge…
ALEX Jr. – They originally came from Ireland, though…
ALEX Sr. – Oh, I think they must have.
ALEX Jr. – But there’s no more Ashenhursts from your grandfather.
ALEX Sr. – Not that I know of. Well except -- well the Ashenhursts, there was another cousins -- cousins lived up in Erin, you know. There was…
LOIS – There was none from your grandfather. No, you’re the only survivors! You and Alec and Jim are the only ones.
ALEX Sr. – There are other Ashenhursts that lived at Erin
ALEX Jr. – Yeah okay, but they emigrated from Ireland separately.
ALEX Sr. – Probably, I think they were cousins.
LOIS – No, you’re a direct descendant. You and your father…
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Alexander by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA.
However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line.
It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with Alexander: