Show ContentsAza History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Aza is an ancient Norman name that arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The name Aza 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 Aza family

The surname Aza 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 Aza family

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

Aza Spelling Variations

A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Asher, Ascher, Asser, Hasher, Hasser, Hascher, Aschey, Aisher, Aza, Azor, Ascer, Passer and many more.

Early Notables of the Aza family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Aza family

Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Aza 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