Ashmead History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The origins of the Anglo-Saxon name Ashmead come from its first bearer, who was a an ancient Saxon name which meant warrior of the spear. Ash, another ancient Saxon name meant spear.

"In Anglo-Saxon poetry aesc or ash is constantly used in the sense of spear, because the staff of a spear was usually made of that wood. So the Latin ferrum signifies both iron and sword. Ashman is therefore the equivalent of spearman." [1]

"I take it that this name is the same as Asman, Osman, Osmon, Osmund (whence doubtless Houseman, Housman.)" [2]

"As the surname is found at Gorleston and in Rochford Hundred (Essex), it may sometimes be an occupation-name." [3]

Early Origins of the Ashmead family

The surname Ashmead was first found in the county of Wiltshire, where they held a family seat from very ancient times. Ash, in ancient Saxon meant "spear," therefore Ashman was a "spear warrior," " and perchance the same as Assemannus in Domesday Book; compare the place-names Ashmanhaugh, Ashmansworth, compounded with the name of the original tenant. " [4]

By the time of the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273, the family had scattered throughout early Britain: William Asseman, Suffolk; Peter Asseman, Cambridgeshire; Reginald Assheman, Suffolk; Walter Ascheman, Suffolk; and Henry Asscheman, Suffolk. [5]

In Norfolk, early records there show: Nicholas Ashman, bailiff of Yarmouth, 1299; and Robert Ashman, bailiff of Yarmouth, 1316. [6]

The singular Asseman, Asman was found in Huntingdonshire in the 13th century. John Essheman was found in the Assize Rolls for Kent in 1317. [3]

Early History of the Ashmead family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ashmead research. Another 39 words (3 lines of text) covering the years 191 and 1916 are included under the topic Early Ashmead History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ashmead Spelling Variations

The first dictionaries that appeared in the last few hundred years did much to standardize the English language. Before that time, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. The language was changing, incorporating pieces of other languages, and the spelling of names changed with it. Ashmead has been spelled many different ways, including Aschman, Ashman, Asheman, Asman and others.

Early Notables of the Ashmead family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Ashmead Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Ashmead migration to the United States +

Thousands of English families in this era began to emigrate the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. Although the passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe, those who made the voyage safely were rewarded with opportunities unavailable to them in their homeland. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Ashmeads to arrive in North America:

Ashmead Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Ashmead, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1682 [7]

New Zealand Ashmead migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Ashmead Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Ashmead, British settler travelling from Plymouth aboard the ship "Roman Emperor" arriving in Lyttlelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 30th March 1863 [8]

Contemporary Notables of the name Ashmead (post 1700) +

  • Warren B. Ashmead, American Republican politician, Chair of Queens County Republican Party, 1939-42; Member of New York Republican State Executive Committee, 1945 [9]
  • John Wayne Ashmead, American politician, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 1849-54 [9]
  • John Ashmead, American Republican politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Connecticut 1st District, 1952 [9]
  • Fred Ashmead, American Democratic Party politician, Candidate for Texas State House of Representatives 138th District, 2004 [9]


  1. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Charnock, Richard, Stephen, Ludus Patronymicus of The Etymology of Curious Surnames. London: Trubner & Co., 60 Paternoster Row, 1868. Print.
  3. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  5. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  6. ^ Rye, Walter, A History of Norfolk. London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, 1885. Print
  7. ^ 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)
  8. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  9. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 8) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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