The John ASHE [ASH] Family
©Compiled by Michael Russell OPC for Fordington February 2010
of Fordington during the period 1593-1640
There are several generations of John Ash in Fordington during this period and it is not always clear to which marriage events appertain so I have set out my understanding below.
The oldest marriage recorded in Fordington is on 4 Oct 1593 of a John ASH to a Jane (No surnames of the brides were recorded then) and we are relying on a transcription done in 1909 which was presumably taken from the Bishops Transcripts that were damaged in the fire at Blandford where they were held in 1731.(1) Apart from a few fragments the registers from 1593 to 1602 inclusive are missing. The next events are as follows presumably all relating to this marriage:-
Dorothy (14 Dec 1603) the daughter of John ASHE buried
Agnes (16 Oct 1604) the daughter of John ASHE senior baptised(2)
Melchizedeth (6 May 1607) the son of John ASHE baptised
Christopher (24 Apr 1608) the son of John ASHE senior baptised
On the 9th July 1620 there is a burial recorded of a John ASHE the son of Frances ASHE widow. This would appear to be the death of John above and his mother Frances appears to be still alive at that date.
On the 16th Sep 1608 however we have another baptism but this time for John ASHE Junior. On the 6 Dec 1618 there is a burial for a Margerye the wife of John ASHE Junior which suggests a marriage before that date ( unfortunately records are missing for marriages from 1594 to April 1606 so it was probably during this time). The baptisms that then follow appear to relate to this marriage.
Thomas (16 Sep 1608) the son of John ASHE Junior baptised. He seems to have died young as there is an entry in the burial registers for Thomas son of John ASHE buried 1 Dec 1608
Elizabeth (5 Feb 1614) the daughter of John ASHE Junior baptised
William (10 May 1616) the son of John ASHE baptised
John (22 Nov 1618) the son of John ASHE Junior baptised – He seems to have died young as there is an entry in the burial registers for John the son of John ASHE Junior was buried 18 Mar 1619
As mentioned above we then have the death of Margerye who is specifically referred to as the wife of John ASHE Junior on 6 Dec 1618. One month later on the 13 Jan 1618/9 John ASHE Junior marries Elvnor [Elinor] SLADE in Fordington. On the face of it this is remarkably quick but it appears that John ASH was probably the father of Elinor Slade's bastard child Thomas Slade who was baptised in Fordington on 6 Apr 1615. As John had young children by his wife it makes sense for him to marry his mistress, legitimize Thomas, and provide a mother for all his children. Elinor then appears to produce the following children:-
Eleanor (29 Aug 1622) the daughter of John ASHE Junior baptised (makes sense as named after his new wife) – Elena ASHE the daughter of John ASHE Junior was buried 26 Sep 1622
Obadiah (2 Nov 1623) the son of John ASHE Junior baptised – Obadiah the son of John ASHE Junior was buried 21 Feb 1623
John (10 Apr 1625) the son of John ASHE baptised – John the son of John ASHE was buried 24 Aug 1626
John (11 Nov 1627) the son of John ASHE Junior baptised
We then have the burial recorded of John ASHE Senior on 18 March 1628 – If this is the 1st John ASHE above we have an unaccounted for death for the son of Frances ASHE and no death for John ASHE junior. If the son of Frances is the 1st John ASHE he died in 1620 so the reference to Senior would still apply to what was previously John ASHE Junior as he also now has a son John born 27 Nov 1627. The registers for Fordington also survive up to 1639 and there are no more baptisms which suggests that this is in deed the John that married twice.Whilst I am not entirely happy about this it is the only scenario that I can come up with to account for all the events.
There are references to John ASHE of Fordington a labourer in Sir Arthur Ashleys casebook for 23 Dec 1616 as he was accused of stealing wheat and oates from the barn of Thomas SPARROW. A second entry for 16 Jan 1691/20 refers to events 2 years ago when he is alleged to have stolen some Hay from Mr Henry COLLIER hay rick as he was on his way from Fordington to Milborne Fair.
As father and son were both alive in 1616 & 1619 and both were adults there is no way of knowing for sure which is referred to but it seems more likely to have been the John who married Margerie and then Eleanor.
(1). I have checked the images of these documents available on film from the CLDS and the entry is illegible.
(2). There is a brief reference to an Agnes ASHE on page 78 of 'Fire from Heaven' by David Underdown where it states " The widow Margery GOODFELLOW was given a serious warning for disturbing the Woman's Almshouse in 1634 for 'quarrelling and calling names , and in particular for calling Agnes ASHE a witch'.