William Ashburn Ross

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William Ashburn Ross

Also Known As: "Old Billy"
Birthdate: (83)
Birthplace: near, Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee, United States
Death: July 19, 1898 (83)
Genesee, Latah County, Idaho, United States (Heart failure)
Place of Burial: Latah County, Idaho, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Abijah C. "Obijah" Ross and Elizabeth Ross
Husband of Mahala Mary Ross
Father of William Riley Ross; Elizabeth Louvina Smith; Rebecca Luina Rea; Abijah Julius Ross; John Cornelius Ross and 8 others
Brother of Sarah L. Jackson; Abijah Cornelius Ross, Jr.; Rebecca Louisa Farrar; Nancy Emeline Johnson and Silas Coleman Ross

Occupation: Farmer
Managed by: Erica Howton
Last Updated:

About William Ashburn Ross

William Ashburn "Old Billy" Ross was born 10 Sep 1814 in Tennessee and on died 19 Jul 1898 in Gennesee, Latah County, Idaho of heart failure. He was buried in the Yellow Rose / Ross Cemetery near Moscow, Latah Country, Idaho, United States.


He was the son of Abijah Ross and Elizabeth Jackson.

"Billy" married before 1834 in TN, Mahala Mary "Haley" Cunningham, b. 7 Dec 1816, KY; d. 14 Mar 1889 ID. She was the daughter of Joseph Cunningham and Phoebe Fine.

From the 1850 federal census, William A. Ross, a farmer, lived at Hopkins County, Kentucky, with his wife and children at Hopkins County, Kentucky. The family at the time consisted of:

  • Head William A Ross 36
  • Wife Mahala Ross 34
  • Son William R Ross 15
  • Daughter Elizabeth Ross 14
  • Daughter Rebecca Ross 13
  • Son Abijah Ross 11
  • Son John Ross 10
  • Daughter Charlotte Ross 8
  • Son Ashburn Ross 6
  • Daughter Eliza Ross 4
  • Daughter Susan Ross 2


From http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~tnlincol/queries/query10.htm

"Died in Genesee, on Tuesday July 19, 1898, of heart failure, Mr. William Ashburn Ross, at the advanced age of 84 years. Mr. Ross ate a hearty dinner and was about to take a stroll when he suddenly dropped to the floor dead. Mr. Ross was born near Nashville, Tenn., September 10, 1814. He moved to Kentucky in 1847, and from Kentucky to Arkansas in 1859. He came to Idaho in 1875, crossing the plains by wagon. The deceased leaves ten children to mourn his death. The funeral took place Thursday at 11 a.m., conducted by Rev. McPherson. The remains were buried near Yellow Rose school house on the Potlatch."

Note: Aged 83 yrs., 10 mos, 9 days.

Research Notes

"Namesake: I believe that William Ashburn Ross was named after Joseph Ashburn who was one of Elizabeth "Betsy" Griscom Ross husbands. Joseph Ashburn died in captivity on 3 March 1782 in Old Mill, England."

In the book, Boone County, AR, by the Turner Publishing Company, (1988), page 351:

William Ashburn Ross ... was born Sept 10, 1814, Davidson County, TN. By 1820 his parents relocated to Lincoln County where, about 1834, he married Mahala Mary Cunningham, born Dec 7, 1816, in Kentucky. After 1846, Billy moved his family to Hopkins County, KY. In early 1858 they moved into Jackson Township, Carroll County, AR. They settled about one mile from the present town of Batavia, Boone County. In 1875 Billy and Haley left Arkansas, traveling by covered wagon over the Oregon Trail to the frontier of the Idaho Territory. They lived the remainder of their lives among many of their descendants who also shared in the that trek. They are buried in the Ross Cemetery near Moscow, Latah Country, ID.

- submitted by Delores Y. (Buell) Eveland

In the book Early and Present History of Fix Ridge, Latah County, Idaho, 1877-1964 (second edition 1966) was found this information concerning five other people who it states were buried in the Ross Cemetery:

"William Ashburn (Old Billie) Ross and his wife, Mahala, are both buried on Fix Ridge in the Ross Cemetery." This would be Mahala M. (Cunningham) Ross, born 1816 in Kentucky or Alabama, died in Idaho; nicknamed Haley. (pp. 107 and 121)

"Haley Ross, Cintha and Ella Johnson died soon after we came to the Ridge (1887) and are buried in the Ross Cemetery. I attended all the funerals and I remember they were each buried in a pine wooden box." (Cintha Johnson, wife of Hubb Johnson.) (p. 121)

http://www.internetbaglady.com/genealogy/getperson.php?personID=I0539&tree=Rea [dead link] comment by Delores Y. (Buell) Eveland Sat Mar 29 16:50:31 1997


Researching ancestors and descendants of William Ashburn "Billy" ROSS, b. 10 Sep 1814 TN; d. 19 Jul 1898 ID; son of Abijah and Elizabeth (JACKSON) ROSS. "Billy" m. bef. 1834 in TN, Mahala Mary "Haley" CUNNINGHAM, b. 7 Dec 1816, KY; d. 14 Mar 1889 ID, of unknown parents. "Billy" and "Haley" ROSS lived in Lincoln and/or Davidson Co., TN until about 1848 when they moved to Hopkins Co., KY. By the Spring of 1858 they had moved into Carroll Co. (later Boone Co.), AR, settling near Batavia. They remained in Boone Co., until about 1875-80 when they traveled by wagon train to Nez Perce or Latah Co., ID where they lived the remainder of their lives. They were the parents of 13 children, the eldest of whom m. and remained in Kentucky. Several others married and settled in Boone Co., AR., while others moved to MO and ID.


Arkansas Land Grants

Patentee: WILLIAM A ROSS State: ARKANSAS Acres: 40 Metes/Bounds: No Title Transfer Issue Date: 10/1/1860 Land Office: Fayetteville Cancelled: No Mineral Reservations: No Authority: April 24, 1820: Sale-Cash Entry (3 Stat. 566) Document Nr.: 12292 Accession/Serial Nr.: AR1080__.447 BLM Serial Nr.: AR NO S/N Legal Description: NWNW 35/ 19-N 21-W No 5th PM AR BoonePatentee: WILLIAM A ROSS

State: ARKANSAS Acres: 160 Metes/Bounds: No Issue Date: 6/1/1875 Land Office: Harrison Cancelled: No Mineral Reservations: No Authority: May 20, 1862: Homestead EntryOriginal (12 Stat. 392) Legal Description: SE 29/ 19-N 21-W No 5th PM AR Boone ESW 29/ 19-N 21-W No 5th PM AR Boone


  • 1834: Marriage, Lincoln, Tennessee Goodspeed's History of Lincoln, Tennessee
  • 1840: United States Federal Census, Lincoln, Tennesse. William A Ross. 9 in household. Neighbors include Moses C. Cunningham, Samuel M. Houghton.
  • 1850: United States Federal Census, District 1, Hopkins, Kentucky, farmer. Neighbors include David & Loumira Farrar, Samuel & Elizabeth Howton, Abijah & Nancy Ross.
  • 1860: United States Federal Census, Crooked Creek, Jackson, Carroll, Arkansas
  • 1870: United States Federal Census, Carrollton, Boone, Arkansas
  • 1880: United States Federal Census, Nez Pierce, Latah, Idaho
  • 1898: Burial, Genesee, Latah, Idaho Find A Grave Memorial - SmartCopy: Oct 24 2016, 20:22:15 UTC
view all 19

William Ashburn Ross's Timeline

September 10, 1814
Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee, United States
April 17, 1835
Age 20
Lincoln County, Tennessee, United States
January 9, 1836
Age 21
Lincoln County , Tennessee, United States

Davidson County was formed in 1783
by an act of the state of North Carolina
(Laws of North Carolina 1783, Chapter 52).
The county seat is Nashville.

Age 22
Lincoln County, Tennessee, United States
January 10, 1839
Age 24
Lincoln County, Tennessee, United States
October 4, 1840
Age 26
Lincoln County , Tennessee, United States
July 19, 1842
Age 27
Lincoln County, Tennessee, United States
April 23, 1844
Age 29
Lincoln County, Tennesee, United States