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

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

The Ashley name has descended through the generations from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. Their name comes from having lived in the parishes named Ashley in Staffordshire, Wilts, Cambridge. The name developed in many counties in England and it represent one of the few names that may have developed simultaneously in several different counties. The family name Ashley is a variant of the surname Ash, which is of topographical derivation and indicates that members of the family once lived in close proximity to an ash tree.


Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Ashley has undergone many spelling variations, including Ashley, Ashly, Astley and others.

First found in Cheshire, where they held a family seat from very ancient times. They were found in many counties in England, and represent one of the few names which may have developed simultaneously in several different counties. They moved southward and appeared in Somerset, Wiltshire, Devon, and Dorset.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ashley research. Another 159 words(11 lines of text) covering the years 1606 and 1929 are included under the topic Early Ashley History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 53 words(4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ashley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Ashley were among those contributors:

Ashley Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Ann Ashley, who landed in Virginia in 1623
  • Ann Ashley in 1624 who settled in Virginia
  • An Ashley, who arrived in Jamestown, Va in 1624
  • Edward Ashley settled in Maine in 1630
  • Mary Ashley settled in Virginia in 1634

Ashley Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Eliza Ashley, who arrived in Virginia in 1701
  • Maurice Ashley, who arrived in Carolina in 1708
  • Ezekiel Ashley, who arrived in Connecticut in 1745
  • Sarah Ashley, who landed in New York in 1775
  • Lemuel Ashley, who landed in Massachusetts in 1784

Ashley Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Daniel Ashley, who arrived in New York, NY in 1816
  • L G Ashley, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • B M Ashley, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • J Ashley, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • P Ashley, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851

Ashley Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century

  • Samuel Ashley, who landed in Colorado in 1907


  • Elizabeth Ashley (b. 1939), American Tony Award winning actress
  • Henry Ashley (1778-1829), US congressman from New York
  • John Ashley (1934-1997), American actor
  • Karan Ashley (b. 1975), Karen Ashley Jackson, American actress
  • Maurice Ashley (b. 1966), American chess grandmaster
  • Robert Ashley (1930-2014), American composer of operas and other theatrical works
  • Thomas William Ludlow Ashley (1923-1955), American politician, U.S. representative from Ohio (1955 to 1981)
  • William Henry Ashley (1785-1839), American fur trader, entrepreneur and politician
  • Anthony Evelyn Melbourne Ashley PC (1836-1907), English writer and politician, Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies (1882 to 1885)
  • Maurice Percy Ashley CBE (1907-1994), English noted historian and editor



  • Ashleys of the Old Colony: Based Upon the Research of R. Eugene Ashley, et al. by Robert E. Ashley.

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  1. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  2. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  3. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  4. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  5. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  6. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  7. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  8. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  9. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  10. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  11. ...

The Ashley Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Ashley 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 4 March 2014 at 17:40.

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