Ashmen History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Ashmen is a name whose history is entwined with the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It was a name for 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 Ashmen family

The surname Ashmen 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 Ashmen family

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

Ashmen Spelling Variations

Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Ashmen were recorded, including Aschman, Ashman, Asheman, Asman and others.

Early Notables of the Ashmen family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Ashmen family

To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Ashmen family emigrate to North America: George Ashman who settled in Barbados in 1654; Henry Ashman settled in Philadelphia in 1754; and James Ashman arrived in Philadelphia in 1814. In Newfoundland the family is registered in St. John's, with George Ashman in 1816.



  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


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