Show ContentsAshfield History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestry of the name Ashfield dates from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It comes from when the family lived in Ashfield, which means the open field with ash trees. It is a place-name appearing in Lancashire, and is were the family originated, though they became centered in Suffolk.

Early Origins of the Ashfield family

The surname Ashfield was first found in Suffolk, at Ashfield, which dates back to the Domesday Book of 1086 when it was listed there as Assefelda. [1] Great Ashfield, Suffolk was also listed there as Eascefelda. [2]

To complicate matters more, Ashfield is revival of an ancient village originally named Esfeld in 1216. It is now a local government district in western Nottinghamshire formed in 1974.

And today, Ashfield is a suburb in the Inner West of Sydney, in New South Wales, Australia. This latter local was established shortly after the First Fleet arrival in 1788.

Early History of the Ashfield family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ashfield research. Another 95 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1506, 1559, 1560, 1569, 1570, 1576, 1578, 1599, 1604, 1620, 1660 and 1690 are included under the topic Early Ashfield History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ashfield Spelling Variations

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Ashfield have been found, including Ashfield, Ashfields and others.

Early Notables of the Ashfield family

Distinguished members of the family include

Ireland Migration of the Ashfield family to Ireland

Some of the Ashfield family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Ashfield migration to the United States +

Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name Ashfield, or a variant listed above:

Ashfield Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • James Ashfield, who settled in Virginia in 1636
  • John Ashfield, who settled in West New Jersey in 1664
  • William Ashfield, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1691 [4]
Ashfield Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Henry Ashfield, who settled in Maryland in 1776
Ashfield Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James Ashfield, who arrived in New York in 1836 [4]
  • G Ashfield, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [4]

Australia Ashfield migration to Australia +

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

Ashfield Settlers in Australia in the 18th Century
Ashfield Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Andrew Ashfield, aged 32, a carpenter, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "William Prowse" [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Ashfield (post 1700) +

  • Robert Ashfield (1911-2006), English cathedral organist, choirmaster and composer from Chipstead, Surrey
  • Lieutenant Lionel Arthur Ashfield DFC (1898-1918), English World War I British flying ace credited with seven aerial victories; he was shot down while returning from Bruges by Vizeflugmeister Hans Goerth over the village of Zevekote in West Flanders, Belgium
  • George Ashfield (1934-1985), English former footballer from Manchester, England who played from 1951 to 1959
  • Kate Ashfield (b. 1972), English actress, best known for her in Shaun of the Dead (2004), This Little Life (2003) and Late Night Shopping (2001)
  • Kim Ashfield (b. 1959), Welsh former model, Miss United Kingdom (1980); she had a role in the Bond film A View to a Kill (1985)
  • Stephen Ashfield (b. 1979), Scottish Olivier Award-winning actor from Glasgow
  • Keith Ashfield PC (1952-2018), Canadian politician, Member of the Canadian Parliament for Fredericton (2008-2015)
  • Rear Admiral Lewis Ashfield Kimberly (1830-1902), American officer in the United States Navy during the American Civil War, eponym of the USS Kimberly (DD-80), a Wickes-class destroyer and the USS Kimberly (DD-521), a Fletcher-class destroyer

  1. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  4. 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)
  5. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 29th September 2020). Retrieved from
  6. South Australian Register Monday 21st August 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) William Prowse 1856. Retrieved on Facebook