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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


The Ashley name has descended through the generations from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. Their name comes from having 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.

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Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Ashley has undergone many spelling variations, including Ashley, Ashly, Astley and others.

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.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ashley research. Another 159 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1606 and 1929 are included under the topic Early Ashley History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 53 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ashley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Ashley were among those contributors:

Ashley Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Ann Ashley, who landed in Virginia in 1623
  • Ann Ashley in 1624 who settled in Virginia
  • An Ashley, who arrived in Jamestown, Va in 1624
  • Edward Ashley settled in Maine in 1630
  • Mary Ashley settled in Virginia in 1634


Ashley Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Eliza Ashley, who arrived in Virginia in 1701
  • Maurice Ashley, who arrived in Carolina in 1708
  • Ezekiel Ashley, who arrived in Connecticut in 1745
  • Sarah Ashley, who landed in New York in 1775
  • Lemuel Ashley, who landed in Massachusetts in 1784


Ashley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Daniel Ashley, who arrived in New York, NY in 1816
  • L G Ashley, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • B M Ashley, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • J Ashley, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • P Ashley, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851

Ashley Settlers in United States in the 20th Century


  • Samuel Ashley, who landed in Colorado in 1907

Ashley Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • Mary Ashley, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Mr. William Ashley, U.E., United Empire Loyalist, (b. 1749) born in London, England, who settled in Township of Loborough, County of Frontenac c. 1783 married to Margaret Buck, William died on March 24, 1835 in Kingston, Ontario, leaving 10 children

Ashley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • John Ashley, English convict from York, who was transported aboard the "Andromeda" on October 16, 1826, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
  • Mary Ashley arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Royal Admiral" in 1838
  • James Ashley, aged 23, arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Prince Regent" in 1849
  • James Ashley, aged 23, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Prince Regent"
  • John Ashley, aged 44, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1853 aboard the ship "Olivia"

Ashley Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Thomas Ashley arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bombay" in 1863
  • Elizabeth Ashley arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bombay" in 1863
  • Alfred Ashley arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bombay" in 1863
  • Robert Ashley arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bombay" in 1863
  • John Ashley arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Claramont" in 1863


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  • Willmore Dewey Ashley (1886-1974), American politician, Delegate to New Hampshire State Constitutional Convention from New Ipswich, 1948
  • William Henry Ashley (1778-1838), American Democrat politician, Lieutenant Governor of Missouri, 1820-24; U.S. Representative from Missouri at-large, 1831-37
  • William E. Ashley, American politician, Mayor of Little Rock, Arkansas, 1857-58, 1861-63
  • Thomas William Ludlow Ashley (1923-2010), American Democrat politician, U.S. Representative from Ohio 9th District, 1955-81; Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Ohio, 1960, 1964
  • Robert T. Ashley, American politician, Representative from Indiana 9th District, 1904
  • Robert Gene Ashley (b. 1953), American Republican politician, Member of West Virginia State House of Delegates, 1985-98, 2001-; Delegate to Republican National Convention from West Virginia, 2004, 2012
  • Robert M. Ashley (1890-1966), American Republican politician, Delegate to Michigan convention to ratify 21st amendment from Wayne County 4th District, 1933; Member of Michigan Republican State Central Committee, 1936
  • Mrs. Robert C. Ashley, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Washington, 1960
  • R. F. Ashley, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Alabama, 1928
  • Rita Ashley, American Republican politician, Candidate in primary for Texas State Board of Education 7th District, 2012

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  • Ashleys of the Old Colony: Based Upon the Research of R. Eugene Ashley, et al. by Robert E. Ashley.
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  1. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  2. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  3. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  4. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  5. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  6. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  7. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  8. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  10. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  11. ...

The Ashley Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Ashley 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 17 November 2015 at 15:16.

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