Ash History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Ash was carried to England in the enormous movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Ash family lived in close proximity to an ash tree. As such, the name has local references to towns called Ash in Derbyshire, Surrey, Hampshire, and many other places.

Early Origins of the Ash family

The surname Ash was first found in the county of Devon in southern England. The first person to settle in the locality was D'Esse Court, a companion of King William, Duke of Normandy who landed in England in 1066 A.D. and was granted lands by his liege lord in the vicinity of Exeter, Devon.

Alternatively the family could have originated in Esh or Ash, a chapelry, in the parish and union of Lanchester in Durham. "The manor gave name, at a very early period, to a family of considerable local consequence, who held the estate, with little interruption, from the middle of the 13th century till the time of Henry VIII." [1]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list the following: John de le Es, in Norfolk; Roger de le Es, also in Norfolk; Agnes Ate Nasse in Oxfordshire; and Henry de Asse in Warwickshire. [2]

The reference "History of Norfolk" list Joan atte-Eshe in 1345, Roger atte-Ashe, temp. Edward II and John at-Ash, of Bintre, Norfolk in 1349. [3]

The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 had only one listing of the family, Robertus del Asch. [2]

Another source notes: "There are places so called in Derbyshire, Surrey, Hampshire, and elsewhere. It seems probable, however, that the name was sometimes adopted from residence near a remarkable ash tree. We find the Atten-Ashe of the XIV. cent. contracted into Nashe soon after." [4]

Early History of the Ash family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ash research. Another 108 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1326, 1597, 1658, 1640, 1656, 1609, 1656, 1640, 1652, 1618, 1686, 1670, 1681, 1671, 1735, 1636, 1658, 1718, 1695, 1697, 1717 and are included under the topic Early Ash History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ash Spelling Variations

Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Esse, Ash, Ashe, Aschey and others.

Early Notables of the Ash family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was John Ashe (1597-1658), an English clothier and politician for Westbury and later for Somerset at various times between 1640 and 1656, upon his death he left a landed estate valued at £6000 a year; Edward Ashe (ca.1609-1656), brother of...
Another 47 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ash Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ash Ranking

In the United States, the name Ash is the 1,436th most popular surname with an estimated 22,383 people with that name. [5] However, in Newfoundland, Canada, the name Ash is ranked the 244th most popular surname with an estimated 179 people with that name. [6]

Ireland Migration of the Ash family to Ireland

Some of the Ash family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 132 words (9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Ash migration to the United States +

To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Ash or a variant listed above:

Ash Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Christo Ash, who arrived in Virginia in 1622 [7]
  • Christopher Ash who settled in Virginia in 1623, with his wife and child
  • George Ash, who settled in Virginia in 1641
  • William Ash, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1647 [7]
  • Francis Ash, who arrived in Maryland in 1653 [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Ash Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Ash, who landed in South Carolina in 1700 [7]
  • John Ash, who landed in Virginia in 1705 [7]
  • Thomas Ash, who landed in Virginia in 1724 [7]
  • Edward Ash, who arrived in Georgia in 1733 [7]
  • Elizabeth Ash, who landed in Georgia in 1733 [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Ash Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Finlay Ash, aged 21, who landed in New York in 1812 [7]
  • Cath Ash, who landed in New York, NY in 1816 [7]
  • Thomas Ash, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1832 [7]
  • Joseph N Ash, who landed in New York, NY in 1842 [7]
  • Ellen Ash, who arrived in New York in 1846 [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Ash Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Miss Ada Ash, (b. 1869), aged 35, Cornish domestic servant, from Newlyn, Cornwall travelling aboard the ship "Oceanic" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 10th November 1904 en route to Chatham, Massachusetts, USA [8]
  • Mr. Richard E Ash, (b. 1862), aged 42, Cornish machinist, from Mousehole, Cornwall travelling aboard the ship "Umbria" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 22nd October 1904 en route to Orange, Massachusetts, USA [8]
  • Mr. William Henry Ash, (b. 1874), aged 30, Cornish groom travelling aboard the ship "Germanic" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 2nd May 1904 en route to New York, USA [8]

Canada Ash migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Ash Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Patrick Ash, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1813
  • John Ash, aged 30, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1837 aboard the barque "Robert Watt" from Cork, Ireland
  • Catherine Ash, aged 25, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1837 aboard the barque "Robert Watt" from Cork, Ireland
  • Mrs. Charlotte Ash, (b. 1833), aged 22, Cornish settler departing from Falmouth destined for Quebec, Canada aboard the ship "Barque John" on 3rd May 1855 which sank after striking the reef, she died in the sinking [9]
  • Mr. W. H. Ash, (b. 1854), aged 1, Cornish settler departing from Falmouth destined for Quebec, Canada aboard the ship "Barque John" on 3rd May 1855 which sank after striking the reef, he died in the sinking [9]

Australia Ash migration to Australia +

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

Ash Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Daniel Ash, British Convict who was convicted in Lancaster, Lancashire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Earl Cornwallis" in August 1800, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [10]
  • Mr. James Ash, British Convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for life, transported aboard the "Coromandel" on 27th October 1819, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [11]
  • Mr. William Ash, (b. 1826), aged 16, English labourer who was convicted in London, England for 7 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Elphinstone" on 28th July 1842, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [12]
  • Henry Ash, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Glen Huntley" in 1849 [13]
  • William Ash, aged 38, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Lysander" in 1851 [14]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Ash 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:

Ash Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Henry Ash, aged 33, a blacksmith, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Oliver Lang" in 1856
  • Priscilla Ash, aged 35, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Oliver Lang" in 1856
  • Martha Ash, aged 11, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Oliver Lang" in 1856
  • Christina Ash, aged 22, a servant, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Agnes Muir" in 1872 [15]
  • Richard Ash, aged 35, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "City of Auckland" in 1872
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Ash migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [16]
Ash Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Edward Ash, who settled in Barbados in 1630
  • Mr. Edward Ash, (b. 1614), aged 20, British settler travelling from London, UK arriving in St Christopher (St. Kitts) on 5th January 1634 [7]
  • Richard Ash, aged 24, who arrived in Barbados in 1635 [7]
  • Mr. Richard Ash, (b. 1611), aged 24, British settler travelling aboard the ship "Expedition" arriving in Barbados in 1636 [17]
  • Margrett Ash, aged 21, who arrived in Jamaica in 1684 [7]

Contemporary Notables of the name Ash (post 1700) +

  • William Franklin Ash MBE (1917-2014), American-born, British writer and pilot with the Royal Canadian Air Force in World War II
  • Erica Ash, American actress, comedienne, singer and model
  • Mary Kay Ash (1918-2001), American businesswoman and founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics
  • Brian Ash (b. 1974), American producer and screenwriter
  • F. Guy Ash, American Democratic Party politician, Member of West Virginia State House of Delegates from Monongalia County, 1923-24; Member of West Virginia Democratic State Executive Committee, 1937 [18]
  • Earl Ash, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Ohio, 1956 [18]
  • Earl Ash, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Ohio, 1916 [18]
  • Clyde W. Ash, American Republican politician, Candidate in primary for U.S. Representative from West Virginia 3rd District, 1938 [18]
  • Bruce Ash, American Republican politician, Member of Republican National Committee from Arizona, 2008; Delegate to Republican National Convention from Arizona, 2008; Presidential Elector for Arizona, 2008 [18]
  • Brooks Ash, American Democratic Party politician, Chair of Doddridge County Democratic Party, 1975 [18]
  • ... (Another 32 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Prince of Wales
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. William Noel Ash (b. 1921), British Paymaster Cadet, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [20]
  • Mr. C J L Ash, British Pay Lieutenant, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [20]


The Ash Motto +

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: Non nobis sed omnibus
Motto Translation: Not for us but for all.


Suggested Readings for the name Ash +

  • Ash, Ashe, Stillwell: A Genealogy and History by John Reid Ashe.

  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. ^ Rye, Walter, A History of Norfolk. London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, 1885. Print
  4. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  5. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  6. ^ The order of Common Surnames in 1955 in Newfoundland retrieved on 20th October 2021 (retrieved from Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland by E.R. Seary corrected edition ISBN 0-7735-1782-0)
  7. ^ 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)
  8. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retreived 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_ellis_island_1892_on.pdf
  9. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/wreck_of_emigrant_ship_john_1855.pdf
  10. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 13th August 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/earl-cornwallis
  11. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 12th March 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/coromandel
  12. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 23rd March 2022). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/elphinstone
  13. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The GLEN HUNTLEY 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849GlenHuntly.htm
  14. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) LYSANDER 1851. Retrieved http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1851Lysander.htm
  15. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  16. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  17. ^ Pilgrim Ship Lists Early 1600's retrieved 29th September 2021. (Retrieved from https://www.packrat-pro.com/ships/shiplist.htm)
  18. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 5) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  19. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  20. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html


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