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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015

Origins Available: English, German

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


It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Ascher are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Ascher include Asher, Ascher, Asser, Hasher, Hasser, Hascher, Aschey, Aisher, Aza, Azor, Ascer, Passer and many more.

First found in Staffordshire where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor. After the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William, Duke of Normandy, having prevailed over King Harold, granted most of Britain to his many victorious Barons. It was not uncommon to find a Baron, or a Bishop, with 60 or more Lordships scattered throughout the country. These he gave to his sons, nephews and other junior lines of his family and they became known as under-tenants. They adopted the Norman system of surnames which identified the under-tenant with his holdings so as to distinguish him from the senior stem of the family. After many rebellious wars between his Barons, Duke William, commissioned a census of all England to determine in 1086, settling once and for all, who held which land. He called the census the Domesday Book, [1] indicating that those holders registered would hold the land until the end of time. Hence, conjecturally, the surname is descended from the tenant of the lands in that shire. A John ap'Asser was canon of St David's in 1218 from which we they get the surnames Passer and Pasher.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ascher research. Another 233 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1275, 1510, 1600, 128 and 108) are included under the topic Early Ascher History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Ascher Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Ascher, or a variant listed above:

Ascher Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Hermann Ascher who came to New York, NY in 1850
  • Carl Ascher, who arrived in New York, NY in 1850
  • Hermann Ascher, who landed in New York, NY in 1850
  • Hermine Ascher, who arrived in New York, NY in 1850
  • Wilhelm Ascher, who arrived in Texas in 1850


  • Richard A. Ascher, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from California, 2008
  • John B. Ascher, American Democrat politician, Candidate in primary for Mayor of Baltimore, Maryland, 1991
  • John A. Ascher, American Democrat politician, Physician; Member of Nevada State Legislature; Candidate for U.S. Representative from Illinois 13th District, 1926, 1930; Mayor of Freeport, Illinois
  • Bernard Ascher (b. 1933), prominent American governmental economist
  • Leo Ascher (1880-1942), Jewish composer
  • Kenneth Ascher (b. 1944), American musician, songwriter and musical arranger
  • William Ascher (b. 1947), American professor of public policy
  • Joseph Ascher, Dutch composer and court pianist to Eugénie de Montijo


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  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)

Other References

  1. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  2. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  3. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  4. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  5. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  6. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  7. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  8. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  9. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  10. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  11. ...

The Ascher Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Ascher 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 5 October 2015 at 10:06.

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