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ASHDOWN Family Crest / ASHDOWN Coat of Arms

ASHDOWN Family Crest / ASHDOWN Coat of Arms

This surname ASHDOWN was a locational name 'of Ashdown', a parish in the diocese of Chichester or from a place in County Berkshire, which was until the 18th century, the name of the Berkshire Downs. Local surnames, by far the largest group, derived from a place name where the man held land or from the place from which he had come, or where he actually lived. These local surnames were originally preceded by a preposition such as 'de', 'atte', 'by' or 'in'. The names may derive from a manor held, from working in a religious dwelling or from literally living by a wood or marsh or by a stream. Early records of the name mention AESCENDEN (without surname) who was recorded in County Sussex in the year 1185. Edward Ashdown was recorded in Berkshire in the year 1273. William de Assedon of London was recorded in the year 1273 and Thomas Ashden of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379, and Edward Asdon appears in County Lancashire in the year 1400. Later instances of the name include Bartholomew Ashdowne and Mary Cuddon who were married in London in 1640-41. John Ashdowne and Sarah Woodgate were married in Canterbury in 1663. George Ashdon and Hannah Cope were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1778. Over the centuries, most people in Europe have accepted their surname as a fact of life, as irrevocable as an act of God, however much the individual may have liked or disliked the surname, they were stuck with it, and people rarely changed them by personal choice. A more common form of variation was in fact involuntary, when an official change was made, in other words, a clerical error. Among the humbler classes of European society, and especially among illiterate people, individuals were willing to accept the mistakes of officials, clerks and priests as officially bestowing a new version of their surname, just as they had meekly accepted the surname they had been born with. In North America, the linguistic problems confronting immigration officials at Ellis Island in the 19th century were legendary as a prolific source of Anglicization. The associated arms are recorded in Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.

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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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