Show ContentsAinslie History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Ainslie family

The surname Ainslie 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 Ainslie family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ainslie 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 Ainslie History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ainslie Spelling Variations

During the era when a person's name, tribe and posterity was one of his most important possessions, many different spellings were found in the archives examined. Ainslie occurred in many references, and spelling variations of the name found included Ainslie, Ainsley, Ansley, Anslie, Aynslie, Aynsley, Aynsly, Aynsle, Ainley, Endlsley and many more.

Early Notables of the Ainslie 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 Ainslie Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Ainslie migration to the United States +

Gradually becoming disenchanted with life in Ireland many of these uprooted families sailed aboard the armada of sailing ships known as the "White Sails" which plied the stormy Atlantic. These overcrowded ships often arrived with only 60 to 70% of their original passenger list, many dying of illness and the elements, were buried at sea. In North America, early immigrants bearing the family name Ainslie, or a spelling variation of the surname include:

Ainslie Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Robert Ainslie, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1796 [5]
Ainslie Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James Ainslie, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1800 [5]
  • John Ainslie, aged 47, who landed in New York in 1812 [5]
  • Peter Ainslie, aged 24, who arrived in Maryland in 1812 [5]
  • Adam Ainslie, age 36 who arrived in New York with his wife and 2 children in 1812
  • Adam Ainslie, aged 35, who landed in New York in 1812 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Ainslie migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Ainslie Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

Australia Ainslie migration to Australia +

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

Ainslie Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

New Zealand Ainslie migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Ainslie Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Jemima Ainslie, Scottish settler travelling from Scotland aboard the ship "Viola" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 26th July 1866 [8]

Contemporary Notables of the name Ainslie (post 1700) +

  • George Ainslie (1838-1913), American Congressional delegate from Idaho Territory
  • George Ainslie (1868-1931), American politician, Mayor of Richmond, Virginia (1912-1924)
  • Stephen E. Ainslie (1869-1939), American Republican politician, Member of South Dakota State Senate 42nd District, 1927-28 [9]
  • G. C. Ainslie, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Virginia, 1912, 1916 [9]
  • Henry Ainslie (1760-1834), English senior wrangler and physician, son of Dr. James Ainslie, a physician of Kendal, Cumbria [10]
  • Montague Ainslie (1792-1884), English forester and businessman, involved in the iron ore company Harrison Ainslie
  • John Bernard "Jack" Ainslie OBE (1921-2007), Wiltshire farmer and Liberal politician, Chairman of Wiltshire County Council from 1986 to 1990
  • Sir Charles Benedict "Ben" Ainslie CBE (b. 1977), English four-time Olympic gold medalist and eight-time World Championship gold medalist sailor
  • Robert Ainslie (1766-1838), Scottish correspondent of Robert Burns, the poet, born 13 Jan. 1766 at Berrywell, near Dunse, where his father was factor to Lord Douglas [10]
  • Mr. Andrw Davidson Ainslie B.E.M., British Pipe Major for Duns Pipe Band, was appointed the British Empire Medal on 8th June 2018, for services to Music and to the community in Berwickshire [11]
  • ... (Another 6 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

  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 2014, November 17) Adelaide voyage to Van Diemen's Land and Port Phillip, Australia in 1849 with 303 passengers. Retrieved from
  8. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from
  9. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, February 2) . Retrieved from
  10. Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 17 Apr. 2019
  11. "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62310, 31 October 2019 | London Gazette, The Gazette, June 2018, on Facebook