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.


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 [3]
  • Ambrose Ashford, who landed in Barbados in 1685, followed by his brother John a year later, they both transshipped to Virginia
Ashford Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Michael Ashford, who arrived in Virginia in 1700 [3]
  • John Ashford, who arrived in Virginia in 1701 [3]
  • 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 [3]
  • 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 [4]
  • 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 [4]
  • Mr. Nathaniel Ashford, U.E., United Empire Loyalist, who settled in Canada c. 1783 [4]
  • Mr. William Ashford, U.E., United Empire Loyalist, who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1783 [4]

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
  • Joseph Ashford, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on October 22nd, 1824, settling in New South Wales, Australia [5]
  • George Ashford, who arrived in Port Phillip aboard the ship "Madawaska" in 1849 [6]
  • Mrs. Emily Ashford, (b. 1867), aged 22, Cornish settler travelling aboard the ship "Merkara" arriving in Queensland, Australia on 5th February 1889 [7]
  • Miss Emily Ashford, (b. 1888), aged 1, Cornish settler travelling aboard the ship "Merkara" arriving in Queensland, Australia on 5th February 1889 [7]
  • Mr. Timothy Ashford, (b. 1867), aged 22, Cornish settler travelling aboard the ship "Merkara" arriving in Queensland, Australia on 5th February 1889 [7]

Contemporary Notables of the name Ashford (post 1700) +

  • 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 [8]
  • Mrs. George Ashford, American Democrat politician, Member of Nebraska Democratic State Executive Committee, 1940 [8]
  • Frederick C. Ashford, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Alabama, 1892, 1896 (alternate) [8]
  • Charlie R. Ashford, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Tennessee, 1972 [8]
  • Alva Elgin Ashford (1834-1904), American politician, Member of Alabama State House of Representatives, 1866 [8]
  • ... (Another 12 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. ^ 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. ^ 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
  5. ^ 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
  6. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) "MADAWASKA" 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Madawaska.htm
  7. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retreived 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_australia_queensland.pdf
  8. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 5) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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