Show ContentsAshor History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The vast movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest of England in 1066 brought the Ashor family name to the British Isles. Ashor comes from the name of an ancestor as in 'the son of Asset.' "Asser was an ancient personal name, as Asserius Menevensis, the preceptor of King Alfred. Two tenants called Azor are found in Domesday [Book]. " [1]

Early Origins of the Ashor family

The surname Ashor was first found in Dorset where the first record of the name was Asser (without surname) (d. 909), Bishop of Sherborne and author of the 'Life of Ælfred the Great.' He was a monk of St. David's (Menevia), and related to Bishop Novis of that see. "Like Grimbald and John, 'the Old Saxon,' Asser, who had a high reputation for learning, was invited by Alfred about 885 to enter his household. He appears to have been encouraged to accept the invitation by his fellow-monks, who had recently suffered from the hostility of Hemeid, king of South Wales, and hoped to secure, through Asser, Ælfred's protection. Asser's 'Life of Ælfred ' ('De Rebus gestis Æfredi Magni') consists of (1) a chronicle of English history between 849 and 887, largely drawn from an early version of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, and (2) a personal and original narrative of Ælfred's career down to 887. " [2]

Another source confirms this record but in a slightly different manner: "Plympton Priory was one of the most ancient and notable religious houses in Devon. The canons who held two hides of the Plintona manor under William, were the successors of men who had been seated there in all probability for a longer period than any other religious in Devon outside Exeter. There is yet extant a copy of a Saxon document of reasonable authenticity, dated 904, which records a grant by Eadweard the Elder to Asser, Bishop of Sherborne, and the convent there, of twelve manors, by way of exchange for the monastery which in the Saxon tongue is called 'Plymentun.' " [3]

According to "History and Ant. St. David's" there were two more possibly related men of the cloth in early times: Asser (without surname), canon of St. David's, 1202; and John ap-Asser, canon of St. David's, 1218. [4] From this last entry, the surnames Passer and Pasher are derived.

Less than sixty years later, the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed William Ascer in Lincolnshire and Robert Asser in Derbyshire. [4] The "Placita de Quo Warranto, temp. Edward I-III." listed Jordan Asser, in Northamptonshire, 20 Edward I (in the 20th year of Edward I's reign.) [4]

A William Asser, was rector of Aylmerton, Norfolk. [5]

Early History of the Ashor family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ashor research. Another 156 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1275, 1653, 1671, 1756, 1510 and 1600 are included under the topic Early Ashor History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ashor Spelling Variations

Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Asher, Ascher, Asser, Hasher, Hasser, Hascher, Aschey, Aisher, Aza, Azor, Ascer, Passer and many more.

Early Notables of the Ashor family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Ashor family

To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Ashor or a variant listed above: Asher, who arrived at Ellis Island, in 1903; A. Asher, aged 26, who arrived at Ellis Island, in 1895; Adelaide Asher, aged 33, who arrived at Ellis Island from New York City, N.Y., in 1924.

  1. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  3. Worth, R.N., A History of Devonshire London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, E.G., 1895. Digital
  4. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. Rye, Walter, A History of Norfolk. London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, 1885. Print on Facebook