Sorry, I don't know his parents.I can only this advice. Your target, William Ashby, b. Nov 1864 North Carolina. is listed in the 1900 census.[Ref: 1900, NC, Rowan Co, China Grove Twp, ED 102, sheet 15 (stamped 38), stop 251.]It - the 1900 census - says he married Margaret Pethel about 1889, so he probably was single and living with his parents/relatives during the 1870 and 1880 censuses of North Carolina.Also, both of his parents are born in NC.With these tidbits of knowledge in hand, you need to sift through both censuses.Be especially careful to look at all last name variations. Ashby and Ashley look identical in handwriting.Heck, I’ve even found Ashby spelled Ashbury
FYI, Margaret Ann Pethel’s ancestry has already been researched.See her information at RootsWeb.com, WorldConnect Project: “Ritchie, Fahrney, Spangler, Brode Family Tree” database by Tabitha Ritchie.Tabitha lists all six of Margaret’s children with William C. Ashby.