Last name: Ashfield

This surname is of medieval English origin and is locational from several places so called, for example, in Shropshire, and two places in Suffolk. The derivation is from the Old English pre 7th Century 'aesc', an ash tree, with 'feld', open country, and the first recording of the place in Shropshire appears as 'Assefeld', in the Pipe Rolls of 1167. However, the two places in Suffolk have variant origins, for example, Ashfield near Debenham is first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as 'Assefelda', and in the Feet of Fines of 1196 as 'Esfeld', whereas Great Ashfield appears in the Domesday Book as 'Eascefelda'. In Alveley, Shropshire, there is an early recording of the christening of Doryty Ashfield on March 4th 1592, and in Little Saxham, Suffolk, the marriage of Marie Ashfield and Andrew Gilmin on June 12th 1586. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Margaret Ashfield (marriage to Robert Beleman), which was dated June 19th 1569, Denham, Near Bury St. Edmunds, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, '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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