Show ContentsAstwich History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Astwich family

The surname Astwich was first found in East Hertfordshire at Eastwick, a hamlet which now forms the civil parish of Eastwick and Gilston. [1] [2] The place name dates back to the Domesday Book of 1086 when it was listed as Esteuuiche [3] and literally meant "east dwelling or dairy farm," having derived from the Old English words "east' + "wic." [4] The Parish Church of St Mary dates from the 13th century.

Here we also find the first records of the family, that of Wluuinus de Esteuuiche in the Domesday Book of 1086. [3] While many claim to trace their family name back to the Domesday, few can really do so and even fewer actually have an entry as a forename and surname as most are the singular surname only.

Hence, the surname is descended from the tenant of the lands of Eastwick, held by Geoffrey de Bec a "great Baron" who was recorded in the Domesday Book. Geoffrey's brother was the standard bearer at the Battle of Hastings. Later in Sussex, the Subsidy Rolls listed William de Estwyke in 1296. [5]

Early History of the Astwich family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Astwich research. Another 71 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1066, 1657, 1692, 1696, 1701, 1712, 1739, 1814, 1883, 1814, 1836 and 1845 are included under the topic Early Astwich History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Astwich Spelling Variations

Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Eastwick, Eastwich, Estwick, Estwich, Eastick, Eastich and many more.

Early Notables of the Astwich family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Rev. Sampson Estwick, born 1657, was one of the children of the Chapel Royal under Captain Henry Cooke. Upon quitting the chapel on the breaking of his voice he went to Oxford, took holy orders and became one of the chaplains of Christ Church. In 1692 he was appointed a minor canon of St. Paul's. On Nov. 17, 1696, he preached at Christ Church, Oxford, 'upon occasion of the Anniversary Meeting of the Lovers of Musick on St.Cæcilia's day,' a sermon upon 'The Usefulness of Church Musick,' which was printed in the following...
Another 166 words (12 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Astwich Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Astwich family

Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Astwich or a variant listed above: the name represented in many forms and recorded from the mid 17th century in the great migration from Europe. Migrants settled in the eastern seaboard from Newfoundland, to Maine, to Virginia, the Carolinas, and to the islands..

  1. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  4. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  5. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X) on Facebook