This is a locational surname which owes something to both the Anglo - Saxons of the 8th century and to the Norse - Vikings of the pre 10th century, although its "modern" spelling form is middle English! It derives from the Norse "Askr" which translates as "The Ash Tree" and describes a specific location probably the Council Meeting place or a district boundary. The Ash was regarded by the ancients as having religious or mystical powers in addition to its excellent properties as a working material. There are a number of villages in England which contain the word "ash" in some form, however the most likely source of "Asker" is the village "Aske" in North Yorkshire or perhaps a "lost" site of the same name. The middle English Suffix of "er" is of Anglo -Saxon origin and describes one who was "of Aske", although not necessarily now resident. Certainly the surname is more popular as one moves South. Early recordings include Rachell Asker who married Peeter Wayman at the church of St. Giles Cripplegate, London on March 25th 1654 in the "reign" of Oliver Cromwell, whilst on May 20th 1782 Ann Asker was christened at Hindley, Lancashire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Le Ascer, which was dated 1273, in the "HUndred Rolls of Lincolnshire, during the reign of KIng Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots" 1272 - 1307. 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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