Ashford History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Cornwall, one of the original six "Celtic nations" is the homeland to the surname Ashford. A revival of the Cornish language which began in the 9th century AD has begun. No doubt this was the language spoken by distant forebears of the Ashford family. Though surnames became common during medieval times, English people were formerly known only by a single name. The way in which hereditary surnames were adopted in medieval England is fascinating. Many Cornish surnames appear to be topographic surnames, which were given to people who resided near physical features such as hills, streams, churches, or types of trees, many are actually habitation surnames. The name Ashford is a local type of surname and the Ashford family lived at Ayshford, in Cornwall. The Ashford surname was also derived from the Old English words aesc and ford which meant a ford where ash trees grew. [1]

Early Origins of the Ashford family

The surname Ashford was first found in Ayshford, in the county of Cornwall, and in the County of Devon, from earliest times, and in later years a branch of the family migrated eastward to Kent. There are at least two references to the name in the Domesday Book: Aisseford and Aiseforda. Both were listed in Devon.

However we must look to Oxfordshire for the first listing of the family with a very old spelling. The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273, list John de Esseford, Oxfordshire as holding lands there at that time. [2]

Early History of the Ashford family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ashford research. Another 63 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1626, 1594 and 1698 are included under the topic Early Ashford History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ashford Spelling Variations

Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall and the rest of England. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Aishford, Ashford, Ayshford, Aysford, Asford, Asseford and many more.

Early Notables of the Ashford family (pre 1700)

Another 34 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ashford Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ashford Ranking

In the United States, the name Ashford is the 3,151st most popular surname with an estimated 9,948 people with that name. [3]


United States Ashford migration to the United States +

Amongst the settlers in North America with this distinguished name Ashford were

Ashford Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Ino Ashford, who landed in Virginia in 1665 [4]
Ashford Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Michael Ashford, who arrived in Virginia in 1700 [4]
  • John Ashford, who arrived in Virginia in 1701 [4]
  • Elizabeth Ashford, who landed in Annapolis, Maryland in 1726
Ashford Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Francis Ashford, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1871 [4]
  • Frederick Ashford, who settled in Philadelphia in 1872
  • Chas. Ashford, aged 31, who settled in America from London, in 1892
  • H. Ashford, aged 38, who immigrated to the United States, in 1893
  • Arthur A. Ashford, aged 58, who settled in America, in 1896
Ashford Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Blanch Rosa Ashford, aged 77, who immigrated to the United States, in 1907
  • Ethel B. Ashford, aged 27, who landed in America from Putney, England, in 1910
  • Ethel Bright Ashford, aged 27, who settled in America from Putney, England, in 1910
  • Bailey Kelly Ashford, who landed in America, in 1910
  • George Ashford, aged 59, who immigrated to the United States from Brighton, England, in 1911
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Ashford migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Ashford Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Nathan Ashford, U.E., United Empire Loyalist, who settled in Canada c. 1783 orer in council July 06, 1798 [5]
  • Mr. Nathaniel Ashford, U.E., United Empire Loyalist, who settled in Canada c. 1783 upon petition of Ann Ashford, order in council July 06, 1798 [5]
  • Mr. Nathaniel Ashford, U.E., United Empire Loyalist, who settled in Canada c. 1783 [5]
  • Mr. William Ashford, U.E., United Empire Loyalist, who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1783 [5]

Australia Ashford migration to Australia +

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

Ashford Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Thomas Ashford, British Convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for life, transported aboard the "Coromandel" on 4th December 1803, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [6]
  • Joseph Ashford, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on October 22nd, 1824, settling in New South Wales, Australia [7]
  • Mr. John Ashford, English convict who was convicted in London, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Elphinstone" on 27th May 1837, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [8]
  • Mr. John Ashford, English convict who was convicted in Derby, Derbyshire, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Earl Grey" on 27th July 1838, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [9]
  • Mr. John Ashford, (b. 1810), aged 34, English shepherd who was convicted in Taunton, Somerset, England for 15 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Equestrian" on 25th January 1844, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Island), he died in 1870 [10]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Ashford 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. [11]
Ashford Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Ambrose Ashford, who landed in Barbados in 1685, followed by his brother John a year later, they both transshipped to Virginia

Contemporary Notables of the name Ashford (post 1700) +

  • John Bradley "Brad" Ashford (1949-2022), American politician, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Nebraska (2015-2017)
  • Rob Ashford (b. 1959), American seven-time Tony Award nominated, Emmy Award winning choreographer and director
  • Annaleigh Ashford (b. 1985), American actress known for her Broadway credits in Wicked and Legally Blonde
  • Evelyn Ashford (b. 1957), American Olympic four-time gold medalist runner
  • Matthew Nile Ashford (b. 1960), American actor
  • Nickolas Ashford (1942-2011), American songwriter and recording artist
  • George H. Ashford, American politician, Mayor of Gainesville, Georgia, 1951 [12]
  • Mrs. George Ashford, American Democratic Party politician, Member of Nebraska Democratic State Executive Committee, 1940 [12]
  • Frederick C. Ashford, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Alabama, 1892, 1896 (alternate) [12]
  • Charlie R. Ashford, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Tennessee, 1972 [12]
  • ... (Another 13 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  1. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. 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. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  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. ^ 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
  6. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 22nd March 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/coromandel-and-experiment
  7. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1824 with 9 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1824
  8. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 18th March 2022). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/elphinstone
  9. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 17th August 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/earl-grey
  10. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 4th May 2022). https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/equestrian
  11. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  12. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 5) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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