This surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name either from the village of Ashbrook, east of Cirencester in Gloucestershire, or form Ashbrook, a hamlet south of Hitchin in North Hertfordshire. The former place, recorded as "Esbroc" and "Estbroce" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and as "Astbrok" in 1303 in the Feudal Aids of that county, dated 1303, is so called from the Olde English pre 7th Century "east", eastern, with "broc", brook; hence, "Eastern Brook". Ashbrook in Hertfordshire has as its first element either the Olde English "east" (as above), or "aesc", ash, with "broc", brook. Locational surnames, such as this, were originally given to local landowners, and the lord of the manor, and especially as a means of identification to those who left their place of origin to settle elsewhere. In some instances the name may also be topographical from residence by the eastern brook or by a brook overhung with ash trees. On September 4th 1569, the marriage of William Ashbrook and Elizabeth Sarrett took place in Frodsham, Cheshire. A Coat of Arms granted to the Ashbrook family is described thus: vaire argent and sable, a chevron gules. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Ashbrooke, which was dated January 20th 1543, in "Marriage Registers of Farnworth near Prescot", Lancashire, during the reign of King Henry V111, known as "Bluff King Hal", 1509 - 1547. 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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