The surname of NAISHE was a locational name 'the dweller by the ash-trees' from residence nearby. The name was derived from the Old English word 'Aysh'. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land and indicated where he actually lived. Early records of the name mention Richard del Eshe, 1221 County Worcestershire. John atte Naysshe, was documented in the year 1349 in London. Samuel Whatley married Ann Naish at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in the year 1709. Henry Naish and Jane Stiell were married at the same church in the year 1804. This surname is now common in Ireland where it was taken by a family who established themselves in County Kerry in the 13th century, during the second wave of the Anglo-Norman settlement. In the middle ages it was customary for a man to be named after the village where he lived or where he held his land. This name would identify his whole family, and followed them wherever they moved. Following the Crusades in Europe in the 11th 12th and 13th centuries a need was felt for a family name. This was recognized by those of nobler blood who realised the prestige and practical advantage it would add to their status. It has long been a matter of doubt when the bearing of coats of arms first became hereditary and it was not until the Crusades that Heraldry came into general use. Men went into battle heavily armed and were difficult to recognise. It became the custom for them to adorn their helmets with distinctive crests, and to paint their shields with animals and the like. Coats of arms accompanied the development of surnames, becoming hereditary in the same way.
Abner Nash (or Naish) (1740-86) was the governor of North Carolina, and was originally of Welsh origin, his parents having emigrated to Virginia from Wales in 1730. His brother Frances (1742-77) was a general in the Continental Army; the town of Nashville, Tennesse was named in his honour. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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