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Steve Milton

Early Connections: The Ashbys of Biddlesden

Updated April 2017

J.M. Martin suggests "the Ashbys [of Tysoe] originated from Willington", but provides no further details or sources. An earlier version of this history followed that line - since the Willington Ashby records seemed to stop at around the same time the subsequent Brailes Ashby records (see below) began. However this now appears to be a coincidence. A more likely origin is a Quaker Ashby family from the Buckinghamshire/Northamptonshire border.

William and Jane Ashby, who were Quakers, flourished mid to late 1600’s. Information appears in the records of the monthly Biddlesden Meeting which moved to Whittlebury about 1700.

William dies 8 Apr 1715, Lillingstone Dayrell, Buckinghamshire. Residence is recorded as either Chapelgroom, Lillingstone, Dayrell or of the Hoy, Towcester at children’s weddings.

Spouse Jane dies 9 Jan 1705, Whittlebury, Northamptonshire, England

William’s son John married Jane Unknown (we have no record of the marriage). 10 children are recorded at the Quaker Meeting House Leighton, Buckinghamshire stating they are born at Biddlesden.

We have records for a John and Jane Ashby of Brailes, Warwickshire (see below). 10 of their 12 children match the Biddlesden records (including dates of birth where available).

Intriguingly, and hand written note amongst M.K. Ashby’s notes and the Warwickshire records office states "Ashbys always said to have come from Northants to Banbury. This must have been not later than the 17th century."

A note in the Abthorpe parish register indicates the Ashby's lived in Abthorpe, Northants but went to the meeting house in Buckinghamshire.

A connection to the well-documented Quaker Ashbys of Bugbrooke also seems a possibility; William and Jane’s daughter Ann marries Robert Ashby (Quaker of Bugbrook). Granddaughter Jane Smallbone marries Robert’s brother Joseph.

Contributed by Steve Milton
Email: stevemilton23(@)hotmail.com
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