Ashlay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The ancient roots of the Ashlay family name are in the Anglo-Saxon culture. The name Ashlay comes from when the family lived in the parishes named Ashley in Staffordshire, Wilts, Cambridge. The name developed in many counties in England and it represent one of the few names that may have developed simultaneously in several different counties. The family name Ashley is a variant of the surname Ash, which is of topographical derivation and indicates that members of the family once lived in close proximity to an ash tree. 
There may be a Norman connection as the Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae listed "Walter de Esseleia was of Normandy, 1198. He was also of Gloucestershire, 1198. 
Early Origins of the Ashlay family
The surname Ashlay was first found in Cheshire, where they held a family seat from very ancient times. They were found in many counties in England, and represent one of the few names which may have developed simultaneously in several different counties. They moved southward and appeared in Somerset, Wiltshire, Devon, and Dorset.
By the late 13th century, the name was scattered throughout ancient Britain. The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed: Robert de Aslegh, Devon; Henry de Assele, Norfolk; and Walter de Asseleghe, Somerset. 
Important Dates for the Ashlay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ashlay research. Another 103 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1617, 1741, 1606, 1929, 1551, 1627, 1588, 1565 and 1641 are included under the topic Early Ashlay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Ashlay Spelling Variations
One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Ashlay has appeared include Ashley, Ashly, Astley and others.
Early Notables of the Ashlay family (pre 1700)
Notables of the family at this time include Blessed Ralph Ashley (executed 7 April 1606), an English Jesuit lay-brother who became involved with the aftermath of the Gunpowder Plot; a Catholic martyr, beatified in 1929.
Sir Anthony Ashley (1551-1627), was Clerk of the Privy Council, and "was descended from an ancient family which had settled, from the time of Henry VI, at Wimborne St. Giles, in Dorsetshire. Of Ashley's early...
Another 69 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ashlay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Ashlay family
At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Ashlay arrived in North America very early: Ann Ashley in 1624 who settled in Virginia; Edward settled in Maine in 1630; another Edward settled in Salem, Massachusetts; Mary settled in Virginia in 1634.
Contemporary Notables of the name Ashlay (post 1700)
- Samuel Ashlay, American politician, Member of New Hampshire Governor's Council, 1776-80 
- ^ Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
- ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 5) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html