This interesting surname is of Northern English origin, and is locational from a place so called in the North Riding of Yorkshire, such as Aiskew. Recorded as "Echescol" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and as "Aykescogh" in the 1235 Fine Court Rolls of that county, the name derives the Old Norse elements "eiki", oak, and "skogr", wood; hence, "oak wood". The surname is found recorded in Middle English as "Akeskeugh", but in the modern idiom, the variants include: Haskew, Ascough, Ayscough, Askey, Askie and Haskey. Locational surnames were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually to seek work, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. There is an old-established Cumberland family descended from Sir Hugh Askew, who received the lands of the Convent of Seaton during the dissolution of the monasteries in 1542. William Ayscough (died 1450), L.L.D., was Bishop of Salisbury in 1438, and confessor to Henry V1; he was murdered at Edington, Wiltshire, after saying Mass in 1450. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Ayksaghe, which was dated 1366, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Lancashire", during the reign of King Edward 111, known as "The Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377. 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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