Show ContentsAinsley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Ainsley family

The surname Ainsley was first found in Nottinghamshire at Annesley, a parish, in the union of Basford, N. division of the wapentake of Broxtow. [1] "But there is probably a north English local origin also. There is also Ansley, a parish in Warwickshire. " [2]

Robert de Insula (d. 1283), bishop of Durham, born at Holy Island, apparently of humble parentage may be related to the family, but it is difficult to confirm as "the Lanercost chronicler calls him Robertus de Coquina." [3]

But we must look to the aforementioned Nottinghamshire to find one of the first records of the family. For it is there in 1273, the Hundredorum Rolls listed Johannes de Anneslegh. In Yorkshire, Johannes de Andeslay was listed there in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rills of 1379 and the Placita de Quo Warranto, temp. Edward I-III. includes an entry for John de Annesley, Yorkshire, 20 Edward I (during the twentieth year of Edward I's reign). [2]

However, much further to the north in Scotland, William de Hanesley witnessed a charter by Walter, Bishop of Glasgow, between 1208 and 1218. "He is probably William de Anslee, Canon of Glasgow c. 1220. In 1221 Magister Thomas de Aneslei was one of a number appointed to settle a dispute between the monks of Kelso and the bishop of Glasgow, and Sir Aymer de Aynesley was one of the knights appointed to settle the law of the marches in 1249. Two individuals of this name rendered homage in 1296 [to King Edward I of England]: John le fiz Johan de Anesleye of Roxburghshire, and Johan de Anesleye of Crucfut of Lanarkshire. Adam de Aynesleye was juror on an inquisition held at Roxburgh in 1357, and John of Aynesley witnessed a grant of the forest of Eteryk to John Kerre in 1358. In 1377 Robert II granted to William de Aynysley a charter of the lands of Dolfynston in the sheriffdom of Roxburgh forfeited by John de Aynysley his father." [4]

Early History of the Ainsley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ainsley research. Another 90 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1246, 1296, 1836, 1500, 1493, 1766, 1838 and 1521 are included under the topic Early Ainsley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ainsley Spelling Variations

The name, Ainsley, occurred in many references, and from time to time, it was spelt Ainslie, Ainsley, Ansley, Anslie, Aynslie, Aynsley, Aynsly, Aynsle, Ainley, Endlsley and many more.

Early Notables of the Ainsley family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family name during their early history was William de Aynysley, who was granted a charter of the lands of Dolfynston in the sheriffdom of Roxburgh forfeited by John de Aynysley his father. The lands of Dolphingstoun passed, c. 1500, to the Kers of Cessfurd through marriage of Mark Ker with Marjorie Ainslie, daughter and heiress of John...
Another 60 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ainsley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Ainsley migration to the United States +

The New World beckoned settlers from the Scottish-English borders. They sailed aboard the armada of sailing ships known as the "White Sails" which plied the stormy Atlantic. Some called them, less romantically, the "coffin ships." Among the early settlers bearing the Ainsley surname who came to North America were:

Ainsley Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Ainsley, who landed in North Carolina in 1718 [5]
Ainsley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Peter Ainsley, aged 24, who arrived in Maryland in 1812 [5]
  • Hugh Ainsley, who landed in New York in 1825 [5]

Canada Ainsley migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Ainsley Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Johanna Ainsley U.E., United Empire Loyalist who settled in Home District, South Central Ontario c. 1783 [6]
  • Sgt. Ozias Ainsley aka "Osiah", "Ansley" U.E., United Empire Loyalist who settled in Sussex Parish, King's County, New Brunswick in 1794 part of Ensign, 1st Battalion, New Jersey Volunteers, commanded by Lt. Col. Stephen DeLancey [6]

Australia Ainsley migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Ainsley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • George Ainsley, English convict from Durham, who was transported aboard the "Ann" on August 1809, settling in New South Wales, Australia [7]
  • Mr. George Ainsley, (b. 1803), aged 25, English convict who was convicted in Durham, England for life, transported aboard the "Eliza" on 25th June 1828, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, he died aboard the ship in 1828 [8]

Contemporary Notables of the name Ainsley (post 1700) +

  • W. L. Ainsley, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Gold Democrat National Convention from Florida, 1896 [9]
  • LeRoy Ainsley (1911-1986), American politician, Mayor of Madison Heights, Michigan, 1959-60 [9]
  • Jason Ainsley (b. 1970), English former footballer who played for Hartlepool United (1994-1995)
  • John Mark Ainsley (b. 1963), English lyric tenor
  • Jack Ainsley (b. 1990), English footballer who plays for Leiston, member of the England U17 National Team in 2006
  • Jacqui Ainsley (b. 1981), English model
  • George Edward Ainsley (1915-1985), English professional footballer and football manager
  • Jermaine Ainsley (b. 1995), New Zealand rugby union footballer
  • Rear Admiral Roger Stewart Ainsley (b. 1950), British former Royal Navy officer, Flag Officer Sea Training (2004–2006)
  • William Ainsley (1898-1976), born John William Ainsley, a British coal miner and Labour Party politician who was the Member of Parliament for North West Durham from 1955 to 1964

  1. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  4. Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  5. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  6. Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  7. State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Ann voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1809 with 200 passengers. Retrieved from
  8. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 17th February 2022). Retrieved from
  9. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, February 2) . Retrieved from on Facebook