More About Ale Hatfield

Sometimes in census records Ale is listed as Eli, or Ali. Where does the name Ale come from? The name "Ale" is an old Swedish name from comes from Swedish mythology.  It celebrates an early King Ale of Sweden (actually now part of Norway) whose exploits on the battlefield were legendary (very similar to England's King Arthur or Beowulf). Also, Ale’s father Joseph’s first wife Rachel Smith was Swedish, and her oldest brother was Ale Smith, who served as an Indian spy during the Revolution alongside Joseph Hatfield. (from
Ale was born October 29 1778 to Joseph and Elizabeth Vance in Russell County, Virginia and died November 11, 1841 in Greene County, Indiana at 63. Ale married Milly Gibson and had five children (Andrew, Sarah, James, Ale Jr, and Nancy). In 1810 Milly and Ale were estranged and their divorce is recorded in Greene Co., Indiana April 4, 1836. (
His second wife was Elizabeth Young (b. 1788 and d. 1852 at age 64) who gave birth to six children (Emanuel, Elizabeth, Armstead, Rachael, George Washington, Mordecai Ale and Keziah). They were all in Wayne Co., Kentucky in the census from 1810 to 1820, and then Ale moved with Elizabeth to Tennessee by the 1830 census. 
Milly and her children remained in Tennessee or Kentucky as Ale moved to Greene Co., Indiana with Elizabeth in 1832.
The Early History of Greene County, As Taken from the Official Records, written by Jack Baber in 1875 describes the Jackson Township and Ale Hatfield’s family (pages 71-73):
Among the very first old settlers [in Jackson Township] were old Uncle John Beaty, John Ferrell, old John Stone, (father of Jeremiah and Jack Stone) and Robert Kizzie, Afterwards came Emanuel Hatfield, Wash. Hatfield, Isaac Copeland, Armstead Hatfield James Corbin and others. Up in the north end of the township, east of old Colonel Levi Fellows, were Jacob Lewis, Rawley Hopper, Joseph and William Hatfield, and others.
Emanuel Hatfield, father of Ale Hatfield, was born in old Virginia, and afterwards went to Tennessee and remained there about 30 years, then came to Greene county at an early day, and settled on the place where Wash. Spears now lives. Mr. Ale Hatfield had two wives and twelve children--seven boys and five girls. Mr. Emanuel Hatfield was the third son in this family, and was born December 22d, 1805, in Campbell county, Tennessee, and came to Greene county, with his parents, at an early day. He married Nancy Anderson, of Wayne county, Kentucky. Mr. Hatfield and wife have had fourteen children, and raised eleven of them to be men and women. Mr. Hatfield bought the Congress improvement and entered the land where he now lives, and made a good farm of about two hundred acres. He now owns three hundred and thirty-six acres of land. Within the first twelve years he cleared, in the heavy white-oak, poplar and hickory timber, one hundred and ten acres of land for his home farm,; and , in the same twelve years he killed nine hundred and seventy-eight deer, with one rifle gun In the same length of tiem, also, with the same gun, at shooting matches, he won over three hundred dollars' worth of beef, besides the other kinds of game, etc. Mr. Hatfield has killed more squirrels than two boys could count in a month. He has no education; but he says he knows what is right among honest men--and rascals, too.
Mordica Hatfield came to Greene county about the year 1823, and settled in this neighborhood, and married Milly Richardson. They raised fourteen children--four boys and ten girls. Three pair of them are twins, six girls, and two pair of those girls were about thirty months apart--all of the fourteen children are now living, but their parents are dead and buried at the old Flynn grave-yard, in Center township. Jerry Hatfield is a common farmer, fifty years old. He married Miss Nancy Spears, and lives on the county road, half a mile south of Owensburg.


  1. May I share this to my family tree in I would really appreciate it. Thank you.



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