Earliest Known Ancestors
Seneca V. Bryant.—My earliest direct paternal Bryant ancestor is Seneca V. Bryant, who shows up in several places in upstate New York (near Oswego), including as a postmaster in 1854 and as a blacksmith in 1850.
Robert Ashley.—One of my earliest known ancestors is Robert Ashley, who was born around 1620 and was one of the original settlers of Springfield, Massachusetts in 1638/9. It appears that he was born in England and had lived in the town of Roxbury, Massachusetts (now part of Boston) for a short time before joining William Pynchon in the founding of Springfield. It is unknown when Robert arrived in the America colonies but his arrival is often estimated to be the year 1630. Although it appears undisputed that Robert was of English ancestry, there are disputes surrounding the specific identity of Robert's parents. Robert Ashley's decendants include a large number of prominent American's, including two U.S. Presidents — Rutherford B. Hayes (19th) and Franklin Delano Roosevelt (32nd).
Otis Ashley.—Otis Ashley isn't in my direct ancestral Ashley line but has a very interesting and surprisingly well-documented life story. Although he was an early settler of Illinois with many other Ashley families and married the daughter of one of the founders of Plainfield, Illinois, he left to settle in California. He was one of the earliest pioneers to follow the Oregon-California Trail (which he did the same year as the ill-fated Donner party). He was also briefly involved in the Mexican-American War and became an early settler of California as the operator of lumber mills near Santa Cruz just before the California gold rush.
Rutherford Birchard Hayes, 19th U.S. President
(decendant of Rutherford Hayes: Chloe Smith: Israel Smith: John Smith: Mary Root: Mary Ashley: Robert Ashley & Mary ?)
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 32nd U.S. President
(decendant of Sara Delano: Catherine Robbins Lyman: Joseph Lyman: Joseph Lyman: Abigail Lewis: Abigail Ashley: David Ashley & Hannah Glover: Robert Ashley & Mary ?)
Clint Eastwood, film actor and director
(decendant of Clinton Eastwood: Clinton Eastwood: Margaret Ruth Runner: Waldo Erroll Runner: Sophia Bartholomew: Cordelia Kellogg: Edward Kellogg: Ephraim Kellogg: Ephraim Kellogg: Ruth Root: Joshua Root: Mary Ashley: Robert Ashley & Mary ?)