The birth date of Denson Ashburn is highly uncertain. His reported age in the 1850 census implies a birth year of 1813. However, the 1860 census indicates a birth year of 1828, while the 1870 census indicates a birth year of 1817. His parents are unknown for certain, but he was likely the son of Denson Ashburn and Saluda Key (he was living next door to Saluda in 1850). He died about 1875.