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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2014

Where did the English Ashby family come from? What is the English Ashby family crest and coat of arms? When did the Ashby family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Ashby family history?

Ashby is a name whose history is connected to the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the Ashby family once lived in a dwelling near an ash tree. Ashby is a local surname, which belongs to the category of hereditary surnames. There are a variety of types of local surnames, some of which include: topographic surnames, which could be given to a person who lived beside any physical feature, such as a hill, stream, church or type of tree. Habitation names form the other broad category of surnames that were derived from place-names. They were derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. Other local names are derived from the names of houses, manors, estates, regions, and entire counties. In this case, the surname Ashby comes from the Old English words ęsc and by, which mean ash tree and dwelling. The earliest members of the Ashby family on record lived in the county of Leicestershire, where they been settled prior to the Norman invasion of England, in 1066.

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Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Ashby family name include Ashby, Ashbie, Ashbe, Ashbee, Ashbey and others.

First found in Leicestershire where they held a family seat for many centuries. Some of the first records of the name include: Richard de Ashby, Lord of the manors of South Croxton and Quenbyas found in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273; William de Ashby (1240-1299), Lord of the Manor of Ashby Magna, Leicester; and Alexander of Ashby (Latin, Alexander Essebiensis), an English theologian and poet about the year 1220.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ashby research. Another 101 words(7 lines of text) covering the years 1346, 1475, 1537, 1646, 1693 and 1668 are included under the topic Early Ashby History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 67 words(5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ashby Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, Canada, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Ashby surname or a spelling variation of the name include:

Ashby Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Alice Ashby who settled in New England in 1635
  • Tho Ashby, who landed in Virginia in 1635
  • Robt Ashby, who landed in Virginia in 1639
  • Edmund Ashby, who arrived in Virginia in 1650
  • Roger Ashby, who arrived in Virginia in 1651


Ashby Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • William Ashby, who landed in Maryland in 1776

Ashby Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Charles Ashby, aged 30, landed in New York in 1832
  • George Ashby, who arrived in New York in 1834
  • Mr. Ashby, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • Mary Ashby, aged 13, landed in New York in 1864

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  • Andrew Jason Ashby (b. 1967), American baseball player
  • Jeffrey Shears "Bones" Ashby (b. 1954), former NASA Astronaut with over 27 days in space
  • Linden Ashby (b. 1960), American actor
  • Alan Dean Ashby (b. 1951), American former Major League Baseball player, current radio and television sports commentator
  • Carl Ashby (1914-2004), American abstract expressionist artist
  • Christopher C. Ashby, American diplomat, United States Ambassador to Uruguay (1997 to 2001)
  • William Hal Ashby (1929-1988), American film director and film editor
  • Irving C. Ashby (1920-1987), American jazz guitarist, member of Lionel Hampton's orchestra and later the Nat King Cole Trio (1947 to 1951)
  • Mr. John Ashby (d. 1912), aged 57, American Second Class passenger from West Hoboken, New Jersey who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking
  • Joseph Ashby -Sterry (1836-1917), English poet and novelist

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  • The Ashby Book by Lee Fleming Reese.
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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Be just and fear not
Motto Translation: Be just and fear not

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  1. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  2. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  3. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  6. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  7. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  8. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  9. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  10. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  11. ...

The Ashby Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Ashby Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 17 June 2014 at 22:51.

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