Ashby History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Ashby is a name whose history is connected to the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the Ashby family once lived in a dwelling near an ash tree. Ashby is a local surname, which belongs to the category of hereditary surnames. There are a variety of types of local surnames, some of which include topographic surnames, which could be given to a person who lived beside any physical feature, such as a hill, stream, church or type of tree. Habitation names form the other broad category of surnames that were derived from place names. They were derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes or farmsteads. Other local names are derived from the names of houses, manors, estates, regions and entire counties. In this case, the surname Ashby comes from the Old English words æsc and by, which mean ash tree and dwelling. The earliest members of the Ashby family on record lived in the county of Leicestershire, where they been settled prior to the Norman invasion of England, in 1066.

Early Origins of the Ashby family

The surname Ashby was first found in Leicestershire where they held a family seat for many centuries. Some of the first records of the name include: Richard de Ashby, Lord of the manors of South Croxton and Quenbyas, found in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273; William de Ashby (1240-1299), Lord of the Manor of Ashby Magna, Leicester; and Alexander of Ashby (Latin, Alexander Essebiensis), an English theologian and poet about the year 1220. [1]

Years later, George Ashby (d. 1475), was an poetical writer, born about 1390. "Little is known of him till late in life, when he appears to have owned an estate named 'Breakspeares' in Harefield, Middlesex, and to have been clerk of the signet, first to Henry VI from the beginning of his reign and afterwards to Margaret of Anjou." [2]

Early History of the Ashby family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ashby research. Another 51 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1346, 1475, 1537, 1646, 1693, 1668, 1665, 1668, 1688, 1689, 1614, 1680, 1614, 1632 and 1646 are included under the topic Early Ashby History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ashby Spelling Variations

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Ashby family name include Ashby, Ashbie, Ashbe, Ashbee, Ashbey and others.

Early Notables of the Ashby family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: George Ashby (c.1475), Clerk to King Henry VI; George Ashby (died 1537), a martyred English Cistercian monk; and Sir John Ashby (1646-1693), Admiral of the Blue who fought at Bantry Bay in 1668. He was a native of Lowestoft, and presumably a follower of Sir Thomas Allin. "In 1665, he was appointed lieutenant of the Adventure, and in October 1668 captain of the Deptford ketch. From that time onward he seems to have served without intermission, and in September 1688 was appointed to the Defiance, a third-rate vessel...
Another 96 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ashby Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Ashby migration to the United States +

For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, Canada, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Ashby surname or a spelling variation of the name include:

Ashby Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Alice Ashby, who settled in New England in 1635
  • Tho Ashby, who landed in Virginia in 1635 [3]
  • Robert Ashby, who landed in Virginia in 1639 [3]
  • Edmund Ashby, who arrived in Virginia in 1650 [3]
  • Roger Ashby, who arrived in Virginia in 1651 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Ashby Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • William Ashby, who landed in Maryland in 1776 [3]
Ashby Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Charles Ashby, aged 30, who landed in New York in 1832 [3]
  • George Ashby, who arrived in New York in 1834 [3]
  • Mr. Ashby, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [3]
  • Mary Ashby, aged 13, who landed in New York in 1864 [3]

Australia Ashby migration to Australia +

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

Ashby Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Joseph Ashby, (b. 1810), aged 21, British Farm Labourer who was convicted in Essex, England for 14 years for theft, transported aboard the "Asia" on 29th September 1831, settling in New South Wales, Australia, he died on 1864 [4]
  • Edward Ashby, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Emily" in 1849 [5]
  • Edward Ashby, aged 45, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Emily" [5]
  • James Ashby, aged 24, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Nimroud"
  • Ellen Ashby, aged 21, a dressmaker, who arrived in South Australia in 1859 aboard the ship "North"

New Zealand Ashby 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:

Ashby Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mary Ashby, aged 17, a servant, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Martha Ridgeway" in 1840
  • Miss Mary Ashby, (b. 1823), aged 17, British servant for G. Saywell travelling from England aboard the ship "Martha Ridgway" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 14th November 1840 [6]
  • Thomas Ashby, aged 28, a labourer, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Maori" in 1864
  • Sarah Ashby, aged 27, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Maori" in 1864
  • Sarah Ashby, aged 2, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Maori" in 1864
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Ashby (post 1700) +

  • Andrew Jason "Andy" Ashby (b. 1967), American former Major League Baseball starting pitcher who played from 1991 to 2004
  • Irving C. Ashby (1920-1987), American jazz guitarist, member of Lionel Hampton's orchestra and later the Nat King Cole Trio (1947 to 1951)
  • William Hal Ashby (1929-1988), American film director and film editor
  • Christopher C. Ashby, American diplomat, United States Ambassador to Uruguay (1997 to 2001)
  • Carl Ashby (1914-2004), American abstract expressionist artist
  • Alan Dean Ashby (b. 1951), American former Major League Baseball player, current radio and television sports commentator
  • Jeffrey Shears "Bones" Ashby (b. 1954), former NASA Astronaut with over 27 days in space [7]
  • Linden Ashby (b. 1960), American actor
  • Denise Rae Ashby (1955-2004), American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Nebraska, 2004 [8]
  • Christopher C. Ashby (1946-1997), American politician, U.S. Ambassador to Uruguay, 1997-99 [8]
  • ... (Another 26 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Royal Oak
  • Kenneth Ashby (1922-1939), born in Horsforth, Yorkshire, England, British Boy 1st Class with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [9]
RMS Titanic
  • Mr. John Ashby (d. 1912), aged 57, American Second Class passenger from West Hoboken, New Jersey who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [10]

Suggested Readings for the name Ashby +

  • 1953 "The Ashby Book" by Lee Fleming Reese.

  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  3. ^ 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)
  4. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 12th January 2020). Retrieved from
  5. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The EMILY 1849. Retrieved from
  6. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from
  7. ^ NASA Astronauts Homepage. (Retrieved 2010, September 27) Jeffrey Ashby. Retrieved from
  8. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 5) . Retrieved from
  9. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from
  10. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from on Facebook
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