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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Ashford family come from? What is the English Ashford family crest and coat of arms? When did the Ashford family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Ashford family history?

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.


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.

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.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ashford research. Another 108 words(8 lines of text) covering the years 1626 and 1698 are included under the topic Early Ashford History in all our PDF Extended History products.


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


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
  • Ambrose Ashford 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
  • John Ashford, who arrived in Virginia in 1701
  • Elizabeth Ashford 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
  • Frederick Ashford settled in Philadelphia in 1872
  • Chas. Ashford, aged 31, who settled in America from London, in 1892
  • H. Ashford, aged 38, who emigrated 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 emigrated 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 emigrated to the United States from Brighton, England, in 1911

Ashford Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • 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
  • Mr. Nathaniel Ashford, U.E., United Empire Loyalist, who settled in Canada c. 1783
  • Mr. William Ashford, U.E., United Empire Loyalist, who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1783

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
  • George Ashford arrived in Port Phillip aboard the ship "Madawaska" in 1849


  • Nickolas Ashford (1942-2011), American songwriter and recording artist
  • Evelyn Ashford (b. 1957), American Olympic four-time gold medalist runner
  • Matthew Nile Ashford (b. 1960), American actor
  • Annaleigh Ashford (b. 1985), American actress known for her Broadway credits in Wicked and Legally Blonde
  • Rob Ashford (b. 1959), American seven-time Tony Award nominated, Emmy Award winning choreographer and director
  • Margaret Mary Julia "Daisy" Ashford (1881-1972), English writer, most famous for writing The Young Visiters
  • Alan Ashford (b. 1944), former English cricketer
  • Frederick Murray Ashford (1886-1965), English Olympic athlete at the 1908 Summer Olympics
  • John Ashford CBE, English contemporary dance producer
  • Thomas Elsdon Ashford (1859-1913), English recipient of the Victoria Cross


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  1. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  2. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  3. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  4. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  5. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  6. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  7. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  9. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  10. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  11. ...

The Ashford Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Ashford Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 18 February 2015 at 12:35.

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