Spring 2005


From Our President

Remembering Malcom Clark

Who Was Heber Honestman

Some Thoughts About a Road that Started at Heber's Fence

Gifts to the Ashfield Historical Society

Ancestor Queries

Ashfield Gravestones

Our Website is Back

Join us!



The Ashfield Historical Society Museum will be open for guided tours of our collection on the second Sunday of each month, June 12, July 10 and August 14, from 1 to 3 PM. There will be a different exhibit each month.

   You can make an appointment to do genealogical or historical research on Saturday or Sunday afternoons, or Monday and Tuesday mornings. An appointment is necessary so that we can find materials for you before you arrive and so that someone will be available to help you. Call Grace Lesure at 413-628-3900. Please remember that donations to help support the maintenance of our collection are always appreciated.


Exhibits featured at the Museum will be:

June 12: Textiles - “From the Inside Out”

July 10:  Ashfield School Room

August 14: Old Museum Artifacts


Ice Cream Social and Book Signing: On Sunday July 10, 2005 the Sanderson Alumni Association will end their busy weekend of activities with an ice cream social at the museum from 1 to 3 PM.  You do not have to be an alumnus to attend. We are accepting donations to help defray costs.  Dr. Fredric Scott will be signing copies of his recently published family history and discussing his research. See more on his book below.


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Dr. Norman Bronson Pike

   To save on heating costs, we turned off the water in the Museum for the winter. It was recently turned back on. We thank Doug Cranson who donates his time each year to do this for us.

   We welcome two new trustees, Lou Ratté and Grace Lesure, who joined our Board in March. We will miss Tamsen Merrill, who has resigned from the Board. She donated many hours of her time and talent to the production of our newsletter.

   Wilson’s Department Store in Greenfield has donated two large sets of drawers to AHS. This gives us valuable storage space for our textile collection, which includes an interesting assortment of women’s undergarments. (See our exhibit for June).

   On April 30th our curator, Grace Lesure, showed a collection of slides to an overflowing and very appreciative audience at the William Turnbull Library in South Ashfield. The slides, from the Myrtle Percy collection of early Ashfield photographs in our archives, featured South Ashfield and other parts of town as they used to be.

   The Farmer’s Market will be located on our grounds again this summer, beginning May 28th, until they can move across the street to the newly purchased town common.

   The Howes Brothers’ Photograph Committee has been very busy.Excellent articles about our collection at AHS in the West County News for the week of Feb. 17-23 and the Springfield Sunday Republican for April 10, 2005 have stimulated interest in our glass negative collection and orders for photos. We continue to digitize the collection. We hope more of the many unidentified photos taken in the various towns of the Pioneer Valley will be recognized and identified by people living there now.  

   The Hatfield Historical Society has returned over 160 glass plates of which 98% have been identified. We continue to work with them and will provide thumbnail sketches of all these plates to them. The photos record many early homes in Hatfield, as well as the history of the Hatfield tobacco farms.  

   In the fall we met with the Worthington Historical Society. We gave them a series of thumbnail sketches to identify for us. We produced a 2005 calendar for the Buckland Historical Society to commemorate their 225th anniversary. In April we gave a presentation to the Colrain Historical Society using the projector with a laptop computer. We have been asked to give similar presentations to the Greenfield and Pelham-Amherst Historical Societies. Call Dr. Norman Pike at 413-628-3383 for more information or to place an order.

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Remembering Malcolm Clark

Malcolm Clark, life-long Ashfield resident, died last month at the age of 84. He helped incorporate the Ashfield Historical Society, was Vice-President from 1961-1964, and served on the Ashfield Board of Assessors from 1968 to 1992.  He was a farmer, horseman, farrier, and fruit grower. Muriel Cranson interviewed him for the Oral History Project in April 1994. We include excerpts from that interview here.

     Malcolm’s grandparents purchased a farm and orchard in Apple Valley in 1877. They hired Gene Griswold of Colrain to add a second story to the house, a cape built in 1837, when his parents married. Malcolm, his brother and sister grew up there. He remembers helping his grand-father with the cows and with the orchard.

“ I was reading my grandmother’s diary of how they picked bushels of pears and my grandfather took them to Pittsfield…when Fred Forbes deeded the farm to Willis Howes he maintained the right to the orchard… it was the only orchard on the farm that the trees were planted in rows…in ’32 and ’33 we had a winter kill and killed all those trees…but that was the orchard that Fred Forbes started and he taught people how to graft apple trees.  That was a big step in apple production because there are lots of native apple trees.  When I was a kid there were apple trees on all the stone walls and beside the road…instead of through the fields.  I went to school right here on the farm. There was a school house. My grandfather gave the town a piece of land to put the school on…I went there and to Sanderson Academy…the last couple of years there were only six of us [in the one-room school house] so we had a lot of individual attention…my grandfather changed his will after my father died [in 1932] and left the farm to my sister, my brother and myself…[my mother] kept the farm going with a full time hired man…I was 11 or 12 years old [when his grandfather died in 1933]. My brother was three years older.  [My mother] kept accounts…she never borrowed money we learned to save our money…if we had…money left over we would make some improvements…in ’44 we had enough money to buy a tractor…She had 125 chickens and took a Government job…it was some sort of census [of people living below the poverty level].  My brother and I worked together taking care of cows…the orchards and in the woods…we started acquiring land…adjacent to this farm…we were able to set out more orchard…We bought the Nato farm and set out apple trees and then we bought some more land…and that’s now set out to apple trees.  In ’39 [when he graduated from Stockbridge] I cleared half an acre of stony land…with dynamite and… a team of horses… and plowed it…one of the big satisfactions to me was clearing the land. There’s something there that’s there forever… in good times and bad times…if it’s taken care of.  It bothers me when people buy land in Ashfield and let it grow up to brush and trees.  They have no idea how much work went into clearing that land.”


About ten years ago AHS began an oral history project. Our curator, Grace Lesure, has transcribed the tapes of these interviews and has saved them as a typed copy and in an electronic format. We have purchased some updated equipment and are conducting interviews with new volunteers willing to record their memories.  Call Grace Lesure at 413-628-3900 for more information or to volunteer for this project.


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Research by Nancy Gray Garvin

On 5 December 1735 an Act of the Province of Massachusetts Bay granted the Petition of those who took part in the “Expedition Against Canada” in 1690 under Capt. Ephraim Hunt, “deced” or their descendants.  They were given a Grant of land for a Township Six Miles Square, in some Suitable place Westward of Deerfield “in consideration of their hardships and Sufferings in the said Expedition.” The township was laid out in sixty-three “equal” shares in five divisions between 1735 and 1783. 

    The first division lots were laid out in the northeasterly part of town extending southerly to what is now the “village.” (See the map on the next page.) Lot #1 in the First Division began in what is now a mowing east of Barnes Road and west of the Bear River and extended south almost to Bellus Road.  On 24 July 1739, the few expeditionary members still living (the Huntstown Proprietors), their descendants, heirs or assigns met at what was then the town of Braintree.  Each drew for one 50-acre lot. Lt. John Hunt, the first to draw, drew lot #38 in the right of his father, Capt. Ephraim Hunt.  Captain John Phillips, father of Thomas and Jane Phillips, the 12th and 14th person to draw, drew Lot #13 in the right of Richard Phillips and Lot #6 in his own right. The 19th person to draw was “Hebr[Honestman].  The records say he drew Lot #1 for Josiah Pratt, in the right of his father, Samuel Pratt. However, two years earlier, on 4 May 1737, Heber Honestman, a “free Negroman” of Easton, Mass., had purchased “one sixty-third part of one right” in Huntstown from Josiah Pratt of Norton for £20 and agreed to “perform all the condition the sd. Josiah Pratt is obliged to do towards the settling of sd township.”  Therefore Heber actually drew in his own purchased right. In his Sketches…(p. 353) E. R. Ellis names “Hebr. Pratt” as one of “the original proprietors in 1739.”

      Heber Honestman may have been the only person present at that drawing who settled in Huntstown (incorporated and named Ashfield in 1765). He and his wife may have left Easton as early as 1740 when he sold his property there to Josiah Pratt. Or they may have come to Huntstown from Easton with Thomas Phillips and his family sometime before June 1743.  (Thomas Phillips, of Easton, purchased Lot #48 on 1 Sept. 1742.)  Heber knew Richard Ellis and his wife, Jane Phillips. (Richard Ellis, of Easton, purchased Lot #56 and one share of Huntstown on 6 Dec. 1739 and was “of Deerfield” when he purchased a second share in Feb. 1741.)

     In June 1743 Heber, of Huntstown, purchased for £12 the 50-acre Lot #2, adjacent to and west of his Lot #1, from Richard Ellis of Huntstown. A stone wall, visible from Bellus Road, marks the westernmost boundary of this lot.  Heber built his cabin next to a spring on Lot #2.  The spring is there today next to a level area where Heber may have built his cabin.

     When minister Elder William Pratt of Easton died in Jan. 1713/1714, the inventory of his estate included “two young negroes, £52.” They were Heber and Hagar (either his sister or his first wife).  In Feb. 1722 Elizabeth Pratt, William’s wife, gave them their freedom and ten acres of land.  On 26 June 1735, at Easton, Heber of Easton married Susanna(h) Cord(i)ner of Bridgewater. On 23 Dec. 1738 Heber and Susannah “Honesty”, of Easton, had a son, “Adem Honesty.” Six weeks later “Kathern,” Phillips, wife of Thomas, had a son, Philip Phillips, born 3 Feb. 1738/39 at Easton. Susannah may have been the “colored woman” who “reared” Phillip, even though Catherine Phillips did not die until after 1765, not 1738 as stated by both Barnabas Howes and E. R. Ellis!

      Heber Honestman was one of the fifteen original members of the First Congregational Church formed in 1763.  They met at the home of Ebenezer Belding, part of a home still standing on Bellus Road. Heber died 6 Mar.1768 and may have been buried in Beldingville Cemetery.

Note: For more on the Huntstown Proprietors see F. G. Howes, History of Ashfield Massachusetts 1742-1910 (1910), 50-62; his proprietor’s map at the Ashfield Historical Society; History of the Town of Ashfield, Vol. II (1965), 203 (both for sale at AHS). For more on Heber Honestman, see W. L. Chaffin, History of the Town of Easton Massachusetts (Cambridge, 1886), pages 58-63, 432-435; Barnabas Howes, History of the Town of Ashfield, Vol. I (1887), 4-5 (AHS archives); Hampshire County Deeds (at Hampden County Registry of Deeds, Springfield, Mass.): R: 672, 673 and 674; 2: 811; 5: 172, 173 and 177; 7: 298-299; Vital Records of Bridgewater Massachusetts to the Year 1850 (Boston, 1916), 185; James W. Lucas, “Easton, Massachusetts, Vital Records, The Mayflower Descendant (Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants, 1995), 45 (2): 31 and 141; First Congregational Church Records, 23, on microfilm at AHS; Vital Records of Ashfield Massachusetts to the Year 1850 (Boston, 1942), 246 (AHS archives); Ellis, Biographical Sketches of Richard Ellis… (Michigan: 1888), 353, 378 (AHS archives).

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Part of the First Division of Lots in Huntstown. F. G. Howes’ Proprietors’ Map overlaid on current Ashfield properties from the Ashfield Historical Society archives, Ashfield Board of Assessors and Lester Garvin.




Research  by Alden Gray

F. G. Howes (History of Ashfield, page 75) transcribed a record from the 1754 Court of Sessions. It described a road through Conway that ended at “a beech tree with stones around it, near Heber’s fence, the whole road to be ten rods wide.”

   The transcription of a road layout [now part of Bellus Road] recorded in 1761, page 89, of the Proprietors’ Records, reads in part:

We began where the committee of the sessions left off (viz) on the east side of Lot No.1 [1] and cut a little corner of said lot northeast taking an apple tree

and runs by the easterly side of a ledge rock [2] and runs across No 13

beginning at or near the northeast corner and runs south westerly along by where John Nightingales last camp

or dwelling house [3] stood and bears rounding as the ground is best formed for the purpose [4] until it comes to the original allowance. [5]  There for then we began for the road to the corn mill where the original allowance was. [6] Left between Lots No. 14 and No. 15 and runs to the south west corner of lot No 14 then turns and runs south easterly as the ground is best formed until it comes to a Ledgi (sic) hill on the west side of the road.  Then runs as the ledge runs about half on the side hill (viz) Mill Hill and half on the lower ground or flatter ground something as the hill runs about two thirds of the way from the ledge to the Mill Brook, then it bears more westerly until it comes to the bridge.  Then it runs south westerly until it meets with the east line of lot No 18 where there is a hollow that runs to  the south west and runs up that hollow until it meets the west line of lot No. 18 at or near the house built by Witherell Wittium, then turns south and runs at the full width (viz) 4 rods wide on said lot 18 to the south end where it meets with the road that runs east and west. …”

This entry goes on to describe another part of the road running from the mill northward to lot 27.  It was signed by Rich’d Ellis, John Sadiler and E M Marble and entered by E M Marble, Proprietors Clerrick.

   More study is needed to find the location of part of this original road, but part (now Bellus Road) is a well-traveled town road. The following notes give some of its history: 

1 “east line of lot #1” Probably not, since today there are no visible indications to show where that line should be.  The east line described by Phillip Phillips’ heirs in 1800 follows stone walls still there.  Dimick Ellis, who inherited lot 7, just east of lot 1, purchased a plot of land that seems, from the description, to be partly lot #7 and partly lot #1. He purchased it twice - once from Seth Church (Book 27: 89) and once from Israel Phillips (Book 42: 248).   Would the east line of this wedge be where Heber put up his fence?  It seems to line up with where Bellus Road now runs southerly. 

An entry for Lot 12 in “Warren Chase’s Notes on Old Deeds,” states:

1783, Feb. 28: Jacob Sherwin to Edward Annable £100 (7 acres) north end of Houselots 12 &13 as lies north of road, bounded north on Lt. Phillip Phillips (Lot #1) & Lt. John Ellis (Lot #7), south on road. This seems to be Bellus ((Bellows) Road. From £100 paid seems that house has been built. [Hampshire] Abs. 3/356

Since part of #12 lies north of the road, it suggests that the 1761 layout started well east of the line of lot #1.

2 “easterly side of a ledge rock” Anyone traveling west on Bellus Road can see the rock probably referred to here.  Lore suggests that this is where Samuel “The Wizard” Nightingale built a dwelling that used this rock for one wall.  Did he know that the rock would moderate the inside temperature of his dwelling?

3 “John Nightingales last camp” From Warren Chase’s notes:

1743, Mar. 1: Chileab Smith to John Nightingale £76/16 including Houselot 14) [Hampshire] Abs 1/147.

F. G. Howes mentioned John Nightingale on p. 240 of his History of Ashfield. E. R. Ellis mentioned him on p. 332 of his Sketches…, but he was not listed in any of the town vital records.

4 “bears rounding as the ground is best formed for the purpose” Anyone who has traveled on Bellus road knows that, east of the high-tension wires, the road curves to get around visible ledge. It seems unlikely, because of this ledge that the road has moved from the original 4-rod layout.

5 “the original allowance” refers to straight lanes between some lots that the Proprietors designated on paper as “highways.” The lay of the land seldom allowed a road to be built there, but if the road was built through another part of a lot, the proprietors often gave the original allowance to the lot owner to cover damages.

6 “original allowance was” refers to one of the few north-south lanes, which, in this case, led to the lot designated “Mill Lot” with no number.  The road location is now part of a hay field.  

Notes: “Warren Chase’s Notes on Old Deeds” is in the Ashfield Historical Society archives and is currently being transcribed into a useful electronic format due to the generosity of his daughter, Adeline Chase; E. R. Ellis, Sketches… is in the AHS archives; the Proprietors’ Records are at the town hall under the care of the town clerk.


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We are the grateful recipients of three different books and the transcription of a set of letters. All are available for research at the Ashfield Historical Society Museum:

Scott and Bradford Families Dr. Fredric Scott, DVM, PhD has given us a copy of his recently published two-volume book.  Fred is professor emeritus of Cornell University. He and his wife, Lois (Williams) Scott, both


grew up in Apple Valley and graduated from Sanderson Academy.  His book, Clifton William Scott and Mildred Evelyn Bradford Scott of Ashfield, Massachusetts; Ancestors, Descendants and New England Heritage, celebrates the life of his parents and the genealogy of his family. This massive undertaking includes brief family histories of eight branches of their family - Scott, Bradford, Taylor, Robinson, Williams, Porter, Shaw, and Ranney. It traces them from England to Massachusetts to Connecticut and to Ashfield or Buckland. The second volume traces the family lineage for twelve generations. The information, from more than eight years of research, is completely referenced and indexed. Fred will be at the Ashfield Historical Society from 1 to 3 PM on July 10 to discuss his research and sign copies of his book, which will be available for purchase.


Eva Tanguay of Holyoke, Ashfield, New York City and Hollywood - The “I Don’t Care Girl”

Many people know that the mother of Cecil B. DeMille made an unscheduled stop in Ashfield to give birth to him.  But few people know that a well-known vaudeville actress, Eva Tanguay, owned a home here in

1910. Andrew Erdman from New Jersey included a chapter on Eva in his  book, Blue Vaudeville, written as his doctoral dissertation at CUNY.  He has donated a


House on Main Street once owned by Eva Tanguay on the site of the present Belding Memorial Library. Photo from the Ashfield Historical Society archives.

Eva Tanguay. Photo from the Ashfield Historical Society archives.


copy of this book to AHS. Andy visited Ashfield in November to do research for the biography he is writing about Eva and to visit some of the families who knew Eva’s niece, Florence (Tanguay) Dufresne.  In 1910 Florence Tanguay lived, as a “boarder” in Eva’s house with Mary (Howes) Howes (widow of Otis Howes) and her daughter, Lizzie Howes.  The house was located on the land where the Belding Library now stands.  Eva Tanguay of New York City sold on 30 June 1911 “in consideration of One Dollar and other good and valuable considerations paid by Milo Belding of New York City…a certain tract of land situated in the Town of Ashfield… .” Milo Belding removed this two-family house, so he could build the library there in 1913.

Notes: “Diaries of Ruth Sears, 1907- 1910,” a friend and classmate of Florence; History of Ashfield, Vol. II (1965), 67 (Ashfield Historical Society archives); Franklin County Registry of Deeds, 556: 319 and 564: 146; Thirteenth Census of the U. S., 1910, Franklin County, Ashfield, T624-588, 5A.





New England Revolutionary War Soldiers in Geauga County, Ohio Jeannette “Teeter” Grosvenor of Geauga County, Ohio has donated a copy of her book, published in 1990, The Raccoon Brigade, Soldiers of the Revolution in Geauga County, Ohio. Her book includes family information on each of sixty-nine Revolutionary War soldiers buried in Geauga County. Most of these soldiers came from New England and some were from western Mass. David Alden, Jr., from Ashfield, married Susannah (Ward) Alden, daughter of John Ward, of Buckland. He and Susannah were buried with many members of their family in Middlefield, Geauga County. Jeannette has referenced and indexed all of her research. Her secondary sources give clues for further research.  She provides information from the Revolutionary War Pension Records available on microfilm at the National Archives (NARA), which have valuable genealogical information, especially if the soldier died and his widow filed for a continuation of the pension.

     Jeannette has included a detailed list of the sources available for genealogical research in Geauga County.  A research trip to the Anderson Allyn Research Room at the library in Chardon is well worth the time if one has ancestors in Geauga County, Ohio.


Do you have letters, family bibles, photos or other family history and memorablia relating to Ashfield. We would appreciate any legible copies you are willing to send to the Ashfield Historical Society so we can continue to help others with their quest for family! What may be stored in a drawer in your home  could be a treasure for someone else. We thank you for sharing! Please contact Nancy Gray Garvin at AHS or at


Letters to William Clark (a. k. a. Eben Clark Gilbert) – A Family Chronicle 1844-1871 Electa (Gilbert) (Cross) Gardner, and other family members, corresponded with her brother, Eben, from October 1844 until her death in 1874.  He was known as Rev. William Clark, although he was born in Cummington as Eben Clark Gilbert. He was a minister in Moniteau County, Mo. from 1842 until his death in 1877. Electa Gilbert m. (1) Lyman Cross of Ashfield who d. in 1849.  She m. (2) Nelson Gardner, whose first wife, Sarah Cross, sister of Lyman, d. in 1850.  They were all buried in Plain Cemetery.  Dona Rose Fletcher, of Calif., gr-gr-granddaughter of Rev. William Clark, obtained copies of these letters from her aunt.  She visited Cummington and Ashfield last fall to do research and has sent us a copy of the original letters, her transcriptions and research on this family.


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We have had the following inquiries from people looking for their ancestors.  If anyone has documented information about the following people who lived in Ashfield and then moved “west,” or if you wish references for the information given here, please contact Nancy Gray Garvin at


If you need information about an ancestor who lived in Ashfield, we are happy to try and help. We don’t charge a fee for this service, but we do appreciate a donation to the Ashfield Historical Society for the time we spend doing the research.  We can search Town of Ashfield vital records, cemetery records, and tax records; and Franklin County probates and deeds. We do charge a fee for any copies that we send you.


Thomas Cranson/Cranston the son of Elisha Cranson/Cranston, who d. 1813, and his wife, Sarah Phillips, who d. 1822; both were buried at Plain Cemetery, Ashfield. Thomas was of Sullivan, Madison County, N.Y. in Feb. 1810 when his brothers, Elisha, Jr. and Ebenezer Cranson/Cranston, sold him the rights they had as future heirs of their father, to “the farm our father now lives on…” Thomas was “of Ashfield” on 23 Jan. 1812 when he and his wife (Susan Perkins) sold the farm on which he lived with his “honoured father.” It is probable that they went back to N. Y. They had at least three children: Betsy, Peter and Frank. When and where were their children born?




Abner Rogers, his wife, Lucinda Rickard/ Record/ Richard (and other variations), her father, Calvin Rickard and his wife, Huldah Leonard, Emily Wait Rogers and her husband, Erastus Cottrell  Abner Rogers was b. at Ashfield in 1774, the son of  Benjamin Rogers and his second wife, Temperance Finney/Phinney. He m. Lucinda in 1801. They lived with or near his parents on Creamery Road.  Abner was a blacksmith and owned a carding mill with three partners: Dorus Graves, clothier; Whiting Kellogg and William Sadler. He was excommunicated from the First Congregational Church in 1823. His parents died in 1824 and he inherited their property. In Nov. 1835 he sold sixty-seven acres to his son James, who lived in Fairfield, Lenawee County, Mich. He sold the remaining twenty-four acres to his brother-in-law and sister, Anson and Temperance (Rogers) Goodwin.  Abner was not on the Ashfield tax records after 1835. Their son, Benjamin, was living in Lanesboro, Mass. in 1832 and in Medina, Lenawee County, Mich. in 1850. Their son, Calvin, was in Fairfield, Mich. Their daughters, Lucinda and Emily Wait Rogers, who m. Erastus Cottrell, son of Gorham Cottrell from Worthington, Mass., were in Fulton County, Ohio ca 1835. Where did Lucinda and Abner go when they left Ashfield? When and where did they die? Did Lucinda m. (2) Moses Baker who d. 1853 in Fairfield, Mich.? When and where did Emily Rogers m. Erastus Cottrell?

     Calvin Rickard was “of  Bridgewater” in May 1781 when he purchased  land in Ashfield on the Buckland line. He was “of Buckland” in 1783 when he sold part of that lot. He was “of Ashfield” in 1795 and 1797. His name was on the tax records of Ashfield until 1805. He moved before Sept. 1806 to Marietta, Washington County, Ohio, where Huldah, a member of the Ashfield Baptist Church under Pastor Enos Smith, d. before 1809. Calvin and Huldah had at least eleven children, b. probably at Ashfield between 1783 and 1804, although they are not found in the vital records.  Calvin m. (2) in Ohio widow Rhoda (Borden) Westgate. 


Amie/Amia Standish and her husband John Young Israel Standish lived on Baptist Corner Road near the Baptist Church to which he and his family belonged. Town records give his intention to m. “Elizabeth Patarich” in 1764, but he m. (1) Sarah Patrick in Belchertown. She d. in 1792. In 1794 he m. (2) Sarah (Smith) Harvey.  Israel d. before 1804 and Sarah m. (3) as his third wife, Samuel Elmer.  Amie/Amia, b. 8 Sept. 1780, was the daughter or stepdaughter of Israel Standish. The births of the two youngest heirs of Israel (Submit and Amie) were not recorded in the Ashfield vital records, although the births of his four oldest children were.  In Oct. 1824 Amia Young “of Conway,” Israel’s “youngest heir” sold the land she inherited from him. Amia m. ca 1800 John Young who was b. between 1775 and 1780. They had at least two sons: Alonzo Young, b. ca 1803 and John Young, II, b. ca 1808, m. Elect(r)a Loomis, lived in Pa. and Wisc. Who were John Young’s parents?  When and where was he born?


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Carol Booker and Nancy Gray Garvin

We are in the final stage of reading and recording inscriptions for gravestones in ten of the eleven known cemeteries in Ashfield. Unfortunately the stones in the Edson Cemetery are no longer there. As part of our project, we have researched and referenced each maiden name not inscribed on a stone. We have been unable to find the maiden names for the following women. Please contact Nancy Gray Garvin at, if you have any information that will help us:


Baptist Corner Cemetery:

Esther (___) (Harvey) Smith m. (1) Capt. Moses Harvey and (2) m. 1809 at Montague Rev. Ebenezer Smith (his third wife). She d. 14 Oct. 1814, age 78.

Lydia (___) Harvey, the first wife of Enos Harvey, d. 18 Feb. 1834, age 60. We have no other information.



Beldingville Cemetery:

Helen D. (____) Jackson, the first wife of Stephen Jackson. She d. 20 Oct. 1855, age 36. We have reason to believe her maiden name was Dunkin/Dunton, but we have no documentation.

Hill Cemetery:

Louisa A. (___) Dickenson. Her husband, Abner, was b. 15 Oct. 1819 at Hawley. Two of their children were buried with the descendants of Lucius and Lydia (Bassett) Smith. She may have been related to the Smith family, but we have no documentation.

Jerusha S. (___) Warren, wife of Lewis Warren, d. 19 Feb. 1836, age 33. She was buried next to the family of Jonathan Sears. She may have been a Sears, but we have no documentation.

Sally (___) Wells, wife of Jube, d. 18 Feb. 1821, age 37. It is possible her husband was a son of Peter Wells, a “man of color” who came from Chatham (now Portland), Connecticut with Dr. Phineas Bartlett.

Northwest Cemetery: 

Mrs. ___ (___) Cobb. We have no information about her. Her headstone says “Mrs. Cobb;” her name was inscribed on the monument as “M. Cobb.”

Plain Cemetery:

Effie S. See, d. 8 Mar. 1892, age 70; she was buried in the plot with Joseph and Alonzo Kelly.  In 1891 she was living in

Norwalk, Conn. 


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David King, Webmaster

If you haven’t visited us at we encourage you to do so.  We have been back on line as of November 2004.  Some of you will recognize the virtual tour of the museum and the description of the Howes Brothers’ collection from Clark Wiedman’s website (thank you, Clark!).  All of the original material has been updated and new material has been added.  The newsletter and “From the Archives” are on line and there is space for upcoming events. Look under “Collections” for an article on Ashfield’s oldest pipe organ.  Tracking software built into the website has informed us that last month we were visited by 124 people from all parts of the U. S. and from Puerto Rico, Spain, The Netherlands, France, Saudi Arabia, Japan and Australia. 

   We welcome and will post any archival material relating to the history of Ashfield (such as historical journals, bibles, and old letters), if they have been transcribed to an electronic format. The website should be full of odd corners packed with interesting material about Ashfield and its relationship to the world - much like the museum itself. Send suggestions or submissions to


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To join the Ashfield Historical Society or to renew a membership, please choose the highest donation level at which you wish to join from the choices below.  Your annual membership helps us preserve our archival collection and make it available for educaton and research.  All donations are 100% tax-deductible.

INDIVIDUAL:             _____Supporter                        $10

                        _____Contributor          $35

                        _____Sponsor              $60

FAMILY:         _____Supporter                        $20

                        _____ Contributor         $50

                        _____ Sponsor             $100

Send your donation with your name, address, phone number, email (if you wish) and a check made payable to: Ashfield Historical Society at P. O. Box 277, Ashfield MA 01330.  We thank you for your support.





President......................Dr. Norman B. Pike

Vice-President ............Alden Gray

Secretary ................….Seth Cranston

Treasurer .................... Marilyn Bobetsky

Curator ...................….Grace Lesure


Nancy Gray Garvin   Kimball Howes    Grace Lesure               Barbara Maloney

Joanne Ostrowski       Lou Ratté