David Ayers was born on June 3, 1834 in Wayne County, Ohio to James Martin Ayers, Jr. and Jane Richey. He was the ninth of ten children, having five brothers and four sisters. The first we really know about David begins in 1850. In 1850, David was a 16-year-old farmer living with his parents and four of his siblings (James R., Martha Jane, Andrew, and Elisabeth) in Hanover Township, Ashland County, Ohio. His brother, Alexander Ayers, lived next door with his wife, Mary Ann, and one child, J. H. Ayers.
Sometime between 1850 and 1856, David moved to Van Wert County, Ohio and on February 21, 1856 he married his first wife, Lucinda Gish. Lucinda was the third of four children born to Christian Gish and Mary Elizabeth McNeil. In February 1857, after only being married one year, Lucinda died presumably due to childbirth, though the actual cause is still unknown. She was only 19 years old.
Seven months later, David married his second wife, Margaret J. Gamble Price on September 6, 1857 in Van Wert County, Ohio. This was a second marriage for both of them. She had been married to David M. Price from 1851 to 1855, and had two children Daniel Price, who died very young, and John Wesley Price. John Wesley would have been around 5 years old at the time of his mother's second marriage. In 1859, Margaret and David had a son named Robert. On November 28, 1862, after being married for a little over five years, Margaret died. She was only 30 years old.
Shortly after Margaret's death, David moved to Mercer County, Ohio. On July 2, 1863, Mary Jane Chivington, the daughter of John Chivington and Rebecca Brees, became David Ayers' third wife. After only seven months of marriage, David mustered into the Civil War. On February 22, 1864, he enlisted in Mercer County for a period of three years at the grand age of 29.
On May 20, 1864, he mustered into Company I of the 60th Regiment of the Ohio Volunteer Infantry at Camp Chase in Ohio. He was a Corporal and listed as a harness maker. He was frequently absent on the company muster roll and hospitalized. He evidently was diagnosed with bronchitis. Later, they also listed him as having heart disease and considered him disabled and unable to do any manual labor. He was discharged at Columbus, Ohio on May 30, 1865.
After being discharged from the Civil War, David and Mary Jane immediately started to raise a family. They had at least five children together. Lilla L. Ayers was born about 1866 and Jenna L. Ayers around 1868. Their next child Francis A. Ayers was born July 16, 1868, and died March 6, 1873 at just under 4 years of age. We are unsure whether Francis was a boy or girl. The cemetery records and the 1870 census provide conflicting information. David and Mary Jane also had a set of twins, James Monroe and Rosa May Ayers, who were born May 29, 1872. Sadly, James and Rosa died only 5 days apart in August 1872. On January 20, 1880, Mary Jane Chivington died in Union Township, Mercer County, Ohio at the age of 44. David Ayers didn't marry again for several years.
However, on March 1, 1883, David Ayers married again for the fourth and final time. This time his wife outlived him. His fourth wife was Hannah Elizabeth Mitchell who was 34 years old at the time of their marriage. She was born in Troy, Ohio to Thomas Mitchell and Mary Parker.
David started his second family with Hannah. His first daughter, Estella M. Ayers, who was known as Stell, was born July 4, 1885. Then, for the second time in his life, David experienced twins. Thomas D. Ayers and Elnore Elizabeth "Bess" Ayers were born on July 14, 1887. His last child, Rall M. Ayers, was born February 17, 1891. All of these children married and had children of their own.
David Ayers died on April 12, 1896 in Union Township, Mercer County, Ohio at the age of 61. He was buried in Sherer Cemetery in Union Township with three of his children from his Chivington marriage.
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Created: 25 Mar 2001
Modified: 9 Jul 2005
Copyright © 2001-2005, Jennifer Volker