Last name: Asher

This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a variant of the English surname "Ash", plus the suffix "-er", which is usually attached to indicate a native or inhabitant of a particular place. In this instance "Asher" is a topographical surname for a dweller by a prominent ash tree, from the Olde English pre 7th Century word "aesc", ash, plus "-er", as described above. Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages. The initial element "Ash" is found in many placenames, for example, Ashwell, Ashwater, Ashton, Ashley, Ashington, Ashford and Ashfield. One Richard del Eshe appears in the Assize Court Rolls of Worcestershire in 1221, and Ralph de Asche is recorded in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex in 1296. The Church Registers of London (St. Giles Cripplegate) record the following early examples: the marriage of Thomas Asher and Alyce Pollarde on November 28th 1585; the marriage of Margarett Asher and Nicholas Bettes on December 9th 1588; and the christening of Alyce, daughter of Peter Asher, on November 16th 1600. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Assher, which was dated January 27th 1578, a christening witness at St. Mary Somerset, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

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Thomas Gower Asher
Why off beam Martin ? Both derivatives could have value. Legend hints that Jesus visited Old England. Somerset figures in the hypothesis. Asher is one of the lost tribes, Maybe they accompanied Jesus and never went back!! By the way we are still a tribe. I have 5 brothers and 5 sisters. Ha Ha!

Pamela Asher
My name is not British it named after one the tribes of Israel... it is a very common Jewish surname, Asher, Ascher, Asner etc

Mike ASher
Commenter Pamela is mistaken. Asher is not really a particuliarly common Jewish surname, which will no doubt upset her. It is a common Jewish given name, which I find annoying. The white pages for Jerusalem is online. You may see for yourself. I agree with Thomas, like many Western names, it likely originated independently in at least two areas across Europe. The old English derivation surely produced the most Ashers, as the tree has always been revered, and practically every contemporary instance of the name did come out of England at some point, where, by the way, it really is quite common as a surname. To Martin, I must say calm down Man. A name cannot make you any less Jewish. Clearly you have plenty of it in you.

Mike Asher
Because of the coincidental reference in the Christian Bible, there exists the popular perception that the name is Jewish. I have encountered this before. Most recently my own Mother confided that her side of the family had secretly believed my Father's side to have had Jewish roots. "They don't talk about it." She said to me. This bothered me on several levels, both because it was false, and because its falseness had survived in secret for 47 years. I once had an old man claim I was Jewish because of my name. I suddenly had no interest in talking with him. I did not correct my own Mother either. What would be the point? Even if she said she agreed, she would just continue thinking the same thing in secret anyway. Same with Pamela, same with Martin. Reason may only reach the reasonable.

Roshni Ashar
I agree with you. I face the same problem all the time. Although my surname is spelled as "Ashar" instead of "Asher", it is essentially the same. People confuse me for a Jew or even Muslim at times and I just have to keep repeating myself about how Asher or Ashar are Jewish and Muslim given names and not surnames.

Ron Asher
How did this site get this information? It seems made up to me or at the minimum, incomplete. I know another person with the last name Asher from India and it is an extremely old, pre-British, name that comes from north India. I know of Ashers that come from England but their name was originally Ashurst, which is a Norman name, and only became Asher once they got to the US.
My family comes from the Ashers that migrated to Kentucky in the 1700's and probably produced most of the Ashers in the US. My dad participated in a DNA testing study and it turns out that we do come from the middle east at some point in time since we carry Haplogroup Type J genes. Haplogroup J is found in the people from the middle east and it is distinctly different from Western European haplogroups. So if you are an Asher that traces back through Kentucky, you probably do have a semitic background and it is at least possible that your last name is Jewish.
So I still question where this info comes from.

John Dan
Asher is not Jewish because the Hebrew alphabet does not contain all the letters: A, S, H, E, R. Since Hebrew only uses three of their letters, the literal translation can only be: Asr, the Aleph is derived from the word "Ox" according to Wikipedia, and this does not make much sense in English. The next letter is Shin, then Resh. There is no way Jews can tell you how to pronounce Asr today without a dictionary from the time. Instead, Hebrew used only three of their letters/characters: אשר Read more:

John Dan
Another mistake people make wanting to claim a Jewish origin for Asher, is occupational derivation. Jews should read where it is written in English in the Old Testament, to repent in "dust and ashes." (Job 42:6). If one were an ash maker, just as one were a professional hunter, they would take the name hunter. So too, one who makes ashes as a profession would take the name Asher. In German, an ash maker would be called Aschenbrenner. Jews claim the word is pronounce Ashare, but yet they only spell it Asher. Further, the English are the ones who translated the Holy Bible so people of English heritage could understand. It is highly unlikely that some woman naming her son blessed, would have even pronounced the Aleph at all. Without a dictionary from the time, it is all just a belief.

Travis Barton
Someone asked where they received the above info.

The 1568 Bishops Bible spells the name Aser and the meaning is the same, so the word is misspelled in English. Asher has a meaning in Hebrew that is different then in English. The word "bin" in Hebrew has a different meaning than in English, many other words in Hebrew are spelled exactly like English words but have different meanings.

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