m. abt 1763
m. abt 1798
m. 7 Apr 1836
Facts and Events
"Ale" is an unusual given name but it appears frequently among the earlier generations of the branch of the Hatfield family that originated in Virginia. It may be a corruption or regional variant of "Eli" (and is sometimes spelled that way by court clerks and census enumerators), but the pronunciation in the family is always A-lee, with a long 'A' and emphasis on the first syllable.
There's another factor in the origin of Ale's name, which actually bears on the family's early history in Virginia. Ale's father, Joseph, took as his 2nd wife Rachel Smith, daughter of Euricus Smith of Wilmington, Delaware. Euricus and his several sons (Rachel's brothers) were near neighbors of Joseph Hatfield's family and they knew each other long before Joseph married Rachel. And one of Rachel's brothers was named Ale (he also appears in various documents as "Ely" and "Eli"). This Smith family was German-Swedish (the surname was Smidt two generations earlier), and one must wonder whether "Ale" is actually German or Swedish in origin.
Ale was the youngest of the six children of Joseph Hatfield by his first wife, Elizabeth Vance. Almost nothing is known of his early life. He married Milly Gibson c.1798, when he was about 19, then moved from southwest Virginia to Wayne County, Kentucky, where he appears in the 1810 and 1820 censuses. By the 1830 census, he was in Fentress County, Tennessee, and by the 1840 census, he was in Greene County, Indiana. The recorded (or purported) places of birth of his children, however, are confused and contradictory, with several supposedly born in Campbell County, Tennessee, before 1810 and between 1810 and 1820. The memoir written by Ale's son, Emanuel, says he and his father migrated to Greene County in the fall of 1831, but two other of Ale's children were supposedly born in Greene County in the mid-1820s.
Ale's gravesite is located in a field about 100 yards southwest of the Armstead Hatfield Cemetery (founded by his son, c.1870). The site is surrounded by a three-foot-high concrete wall and guarded by aggressive thorn trees. There are two other very worn markers in the plot with no inscriptions visible at all. No one appears to know whose graves these are. To locate Ale's solitary grave, go to coordinates 38 deg 54' 45.70" North 86 deg 43' 24.80" West at Google Earth.
U.S. 1810 Census, Wayne County, Kentucky:S2
U.S. 1820 Census, Wayne County, Kentucky:S3
U.S. 1830 Census, Fentress County, Tennessee:S4
U.S. 1840 Census, Greene County, Indiana:S5
The following appears in the Greene County court records relative to the probate of Ale's estate:S6
Thursday morning nine o'clock. February the 17th day 1842 [i.e., 1843]
Comes now the plaintiff by Cavins his agent and files his account as his cause of action herein, and comes also the defendant in his own proper person and by agreement process is waived and this cause is now submitted to the Court for trial and all _____ at law are hereby released and the Court being fully advised in the premises and all things touching the same.
It is therefore considered that the plaintiff recover of the defendant the sum of twelve dollars damages together with his costs in his behalf expended, to be levied of the goods and chattels which were of the said Ale Hatfield at the time of his death and in the hands of the defendant and administrator aforesaid.
[In a different hand] February 17th 1843. Received of the defendant twelve dollars seventy two cents the above judgment.