Show ContentsAshwell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Ashwell name has descended through the generations from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. Their name comes from having lived in one of the various settlements named Ashwell in the counties of Essex, Hertfordshire, and Salop.

Early Origins of the Ashwell family

The surname Ashwell was first found in Hertfordshire, where "the Ashwells, who derived their name originally from the parish thus called, have been for many centuries represented in this county. William Ashwell owned land in Stapleford in the reign of Richard II.; and a monk of St. Albans in the time of Henry VI. bore also the name of William Ashwell. " [1]

"This place derives its name from a well or spring issuing from a rock at the southern extremity of the village, surrounded with ash trees, and forming the source of the small river Rhee. At the time of the Norman survey it was a borough and market-town, having four annual fairs; it was also a royal demesne, and a small manor within the parish was held by Walter Somoner, in petit serjeantry, by the service of providing spits and roasting meat in the king's kitchen, on the day of his coronation. " [2] Ashwell is also a parish in the union of Oakham, hundred of Alstoe, county of Rutland and in Somerset. [3] [4]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 had two early listings for the family: Richard de Aswelle, Suffolk and William de Assewelle, Rutland. [5]

Ernulf de Assewell was listed in the Pipe Rolls of Bedfordshire in 1230, Roger de Asshewell was listed in the Feet of Fines for Essex in 1331, and Richard Asshewll was listed in Gloucestershire in 1391. [6]

Early History of the Ashwell family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ashwell research. Another 106 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1391, 1392, 1478, 1527, 1541, 1612, 1627, 1646, 1647, 1695 and 1798 are included under the topic Early Ashwell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ashwell Spelling Variations

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 Ashwell has undergone many spelling variations, including Ashwell, Aswell, Ashewell, Aishwell, Ayshwell, Aswell, Ashwall, Askwell, Ashwill, Askwill, Ayskwell, Eshwell, Eswell, Eskwell, Eskwill, Aeshwell, Eskwalle, Eshwall and many more.

Early Notables of the Ashwell family

Distinguished members of the family include

  • Richard Ashwell (died 1392), an English politician, Member of the Parliament of England for Gloucester in 1391; and Thomas Ashwell or Ashewell (c. 1478-1527), an English composer of the Renaissance. H...
  • John Ashwell (d. 1541?), was Prior of Newnham Abbey, in Bedfordshire, best known for his opposition to the principles of the Reformation; he was a graduate of Cambridge University. [7]
  • George Ashwell (1612-1695), was an Anglo-Catholic controversialist, chaplain to Sir Anthony Cope in 1646. [7]

Ireland Migration of the Ashwell family to Ireland

Some of the Ashwell family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Ashwell migration to the United States +

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 Ashwell were among those contributors:

Ashwell Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Henry Ashwell, who settled in Virginia 1639
  • Henry Ashwell, who arrived in Virginia in 1639 [8]
  • Anne Ashwell, who landed in Virginia in 1650 [8]
  • Ann Ashwell who settled in Virginia in 1650
  • Mary Ashwell, who landed in Virginia in 1652 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Ashwell Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Stephen Ashwell, who arrived in Virginia in 1701 [8]
  • Edward Ashwell, who landed in Virginia in 1717 [8]

Australia Ashwell migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Ashwell Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Moses Ashwell, English convict from London, who was transported aboard the "Agamemnon" on April 22, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Australia [9]
  • Mary George Ashwell, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Northumberland" in 1850 [10]

New Zealand Ashwell 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:

Ashwell Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • B Ashwell, who landed in Bay of Islands, New Zealand in 1836
  • Mr. Ashwell, Australian settler travelling from Sydney aboard the ship "Bee" arriving in New Zealand in 1838 [11]
  • Edward Ashwell, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Empress" in 1865
  • Joseph Ashwell, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Empress" in 1865

Contemporary Notables of the name Ashwell (post 1700) +

  • Thomas Ashwell (b. 1971), American actor, known for There's Always Vanilla
  • Mary Ashwell (b. 1942), American actress, known for Here Will I Nest
  • David Ashwell, American editor of Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color (1987)
  • Gilbert Ashwell (1916-2014), American biochemist at the National Institutes of Health in the United States from Jersey City, New Jersey, member of the National Academy of Science
  • Arthur Rawson Ashwell (1824-1879), English canon residentiary and principal of the Theological College, Chichester, born at Cheyne Walk, Chelsea [12]
  • Arthur Ashwell (1908-1985), English cricketer who made four first-class cricket appearances for Kent County Cricket Club in 1933 and 1934
  • Arthur Ashwell (1853-1925), English cricketer who played for Nottinghamshire in 1876
  • Rachel Ashwell (b. 1959), born Rachel Greenfield, English author, designer and entrepreneur, born in Cambridge, England but raised in London
  • Mr. Thomas Ashwell, British sheriff, who held the position of Sheriff of Nottingham, England from 1849 to 1850
  • Lena Margaret Ashwell OBE (1872-1957), née Pocock, a British actress and theatre manager and producer; the first to organise large-scale entertainment for troops at the front during World War I
  • ... (Another 1 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

  1. Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  2. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. Barber, Henry, British Family Names London: Elliot Stock, 62 Paternoster Row, 1894. Print.
  4. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  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. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  7. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  8. 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)
  9. State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Agamemnon voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1820 with 179 passengers. Retrieved from
  10. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) NORTHUMBERLAND 1850. Retrieved from
  11. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from
  12. Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 6 June 2019 on Facebook