Ashton Keynes, Wiltshire Genealogy

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Guide to Ashton Keynes, Wiltshire ancestry, family history, and genealogy: parish registers, transcripts, census records, birth records, marriage records, and death records.

Ashton Keynes, Wiltshire
Ashton Keynes Parish.JPG
Ashton Keynes Parish
Type England Jurisdictions
Civil Jurisdictions
Hundred Highworth, Cricklade and Staple
County Wiltshire, England Genealogy
Poor Law Union Cricklade and Wootton Bassett
Registration District Cricklade
Records begin
Parish registers: 1582
Bishop's Transcripts: 1609
Ecclesiastical Jurisdictions
Rural Deanery Cricklade
Diocese Gloucester and Bristol
Province Canterbury
Legal Jurisdictions
Probate Court Court of the Archdeaconry of Wiltshire
Location of Archive
Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre

Parish History[edit | edit source]

ASHTON-KEYNES (Holy Cross), a parish, in the union of Cricklade and Wootton-Basset, hundred of Highworth, Cricklade, and Staple, Cricklade and N. divisions of Wilts, 4½ miles (W.) from Cricklade. [1]

Various Spellings[edit | edit source]

AESCTUN 800-5 (circa 1000) in birch Cartularium Saxonicum 1885-93. ESSITONE 1086 Domesday Book. ESTON 1242 Book of Fees 1922-31. ESHTON 1281 Assize Rolls for Wiltshire. ASTON 1256 A Calendar of the feet of fines for Wiltshire. AYSTIN 1299 British Museum. ASSHTON NEXT CRYCKELADE 1306 Calendar of Inquisitions. ASHTONE 1316 Feudal Aids. AYSSHTONE 1332 Lay Subsidy Rolls. ASHETONBYCHELEWORTH 1386 Calendar of Patent Rolls. AYSHETONKEYNES 1572 Recovery Rolls. ASHETONKEYNES 1588 Calendar of the feet of fines for Wiltshire. AISHENKAINES 1691 Wiltshire Parish Registers (Marriages).[2]

Ashton-Keynes Village[edit | edit source]

A Beautiful Traditional Home on the Thames River


A close-up view of the river bank adjacent to the home shows

ducks nestled comfortably in the softly flowered creeping green ground-cover that grows along the river's rock wall. 

Notice the steps in the side of the river rock wall that allows access to the river.

'Many words have been written over the years which have attempted to describe the village, but none can capture the atmosphere of the following work which was found when sorting through some older papers:

'Listen, while I tell a story; Tell the story of a village, Of a lovely English village, Rich in charm, and grace, and beauty; Where the valley of the White Steed Meets the foothills of the Cotswolds Where the infant Thames comes rippling Through the woods and through the meadows, Past the stately grey stone Manor With its lovely English garden, Gay with trees, and shrubs and flowers Reaching to the river's margin. Baby Thames comes dancing onward, Sparkling, flashing in the sunshine, Splashing, gurgling through the arches Through the arches of the bridges. Now it comes at last to Ashton, Ashton Keynes, a Wiltshire village. Many bridges span the river Through the centre of the village; Span the river to the dwellings, To the dwellings of the people. Dwellings built of solid grey stone; Greystone from the Cotswold quarries Mellowed now by time and weather To subdued and pleasing colour." I must tell you of ancient crosses; Ancient crosses, four in number, Built of massive blocks of stonework, Built in ages long forgotten. Here, they say, the Druids worshipped, Marching by in long procession Holding at each cross a service And performing rites mysterious. I must tell you of the glory Of the Parish Church of Ashton; Of its dignity and splendour Of the charm of the interior; Of the crosses on the gables, Of the lofty square built tower With its gargoyles, ever grinning Down at human frailties; Of the bells, with clarion voices Pealing forth an invitation, Calling loud their urgent message To the people of the village. Enter now this House of with flowers, Asters, stocks and gladioli; And in every plot are roses-- Roses, queen of all the flowers. Trees are here in great profusion, Dotted over all the village. Avenue of Elm to churchyard, Swaying poplars, tall and graceful. Oak and ash and beech and chestnut, Make a galaxy of beauty. Now, my tale of Ashton ended, May I add advice, or moral? If you would your trouble lessen; If you would be more contented, Look for beauty--you will find it In the trees and in the flowers; In the buildings (if they're ancient) In the meadows and the streamlets; In the sky when stars are shining; In the glow of morning's sunrise' In the cloud wrack of a tempest' In the splendour of a sunset, Or in lovers' lane by moonlight. Look for beauty! You can find it, here in Ashton.'[3]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Civil Registration[edit | edit source]

Birth, marriages and deaths were kept by the government, from July 1837 to the present day. The civil registration article tells more about these records. There are several Internet sites with name lists or indexes. A popular site is FreeBMD.

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Ashton Keynes, Wiltshire Genealogy parish registers of christenings, marriages and burials are available online for the following years:

FREG = FreeREG - free[4]
NIM = Nimrod Research - (£). Results delivered by email.[5]
Ashton Keynes, Wiltshire Genealogy Online Parish Records


Indexes Images Indexes Images Indexes Images
FREG 1798-1822

NIM 1582-1840

FAMILY HISTORY LIBRARY - England, Wiltshire, Ashton-Keynes, Church Records

Census Records[edit | edit source]

Census records from 1841 to 1911 are available online. For access, see England Census. Census records from 1841 to 1891 are also available on film through a Family History Center or at the Family History Library.

Ashton-Keynes Manor Records[edit | edit source]

FAMILY HISTORY LIBRARY - England, Wiltshire, Ashton-Keynes, Manor Records

Manor Court Records
FAMILY HISTORY LIBRARY - England, Wiltshire, Ashton-Keynes, Manor Court Records

Taxation FAMILY HISTORY LIBRARY - England, Wiltshire, Ashton-Keynes.

Census Records[edit | edit source]

FAMILY HISTORY LIBRARY - England, Wiltshire, Ashton-Keynes, Census Records, 1841-1891

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Records of wills, administrations, inventories, indexes, etc. were filed by the court with jurisdiction over this parish. Go to Wiltshire Probate Records to find the name of the court having primary jurisdiction. Scroll down in the article to the section Court Jurisdictions by Parish.

Monumental Inscriptions[edit | edit source]

The Colin George Bodman Memorial Bench
17 May 1935 - 8 Oct. 2001
graciously provides a place to rest before continuing the long walk to the Parish Churchyard.
A brass plate mounted on the back of the bench bears the following message:
"Do not stand at my grave and cry, I am not there,
I did not die.
Sit with me and rest for a while,
and remember me with a happy smile."
Ashton Parish Path Bench Plaque.JPG
Celtic crosses adorn many of the graves.
Ashton Parish Headstone.JPG

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Maps are a visual look at the locations in England. Gazetteers contain brief summaries about a place.

Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

"ASHTON-KEYNES, a parish in the hundred of Highworth, Cricklade, and Staple, county of Wilts, 4 1/2 miles (W.) from Cricklade, containing, with the chapelry of Leigh, 1151 inhabitants. The living is a vicarage, in the archdeaconry of Wilts, and diocese of Salisbury, rated in the king's books at (pound) 16, and in the patronage of Robert Clack and others. The church is dedicated to the Holy Cross."1 1 Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of England Vols. I - II, (Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc. Family History Library 35 North West Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah), p. 60(British Ref. Area, 942 E5L 1996)

"ASHTON-KEYNES, pa., tp., and a pleasant vil. N. Wilts. 4 w. of Crickland; ac. of pa. 4,260. of tp. 2,800, water 16; soil gravel and clay, subsoil variable. The ancient church of the Holy Cross, restored 1876-88, has traces of Norm. work. The remains of a monastery, surrounded by a moat, adjoin the churchyard. In the vil. are the remains fo four ancient stone crosses. A. House is a seat in the pa." 2 2'"Cassell's Gazetteer of Great Britain And Ireland, A Complete Topographical Dictionary of the United Kingdom,Italic text' (Cassell And Copmpany Limited, London, Paris & Melbourne, 1893) p. 89

"ASHTON-KEYNES, a parish in Cricklade district, Wilts; on an affuent of the Thames, 2 1/2 miles N NE of Minety r. station, and 4 W of Cricklande. It includes the chapelry of Leigh; and has a post-office under Cricklade. Acres, 3,820. Real property, (pound) 8,086. Pop., Ashton-Keynes HOuse is a chief residence. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Gloucester and BRistol. Value, (pound) 325. Patron J. Pitt, Esq. The church is good; and there are two dissenting chapels, and charities (pound)119."3 3'''The Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales,1838. (British Ref. Area, 942 E5 Vol 1) p. 89-90)

IV. CRICKLADE HUNDRED "Crichalade, Crichelada, Creckelade 1086 Exon DB, Crickelad 1227 Fees, Kerkelade, Crikkelad ' 1255 RH, Crekklade 1316 FA, v. Cricklade infa 42. The hundred is not mentioned after the 14th century and was merged in Highworth Hundred Supra23.

Ashton Keynes[keinz], Aesctun 880-5 (c. 1000) BCS 553, Essitone 1086 DB, ESton 1242 Fees, Eshton 1281 ASS, Aston 1256 FF, (Juxta Braden) 1281 Ass, (Keynes) 1589 NQ vii, Aystin 1299 BM., Ashton next Cryckelade 1306 Ipm, Astone 1316 FA, Aysshtone 1332 SR, Asheton by Cheleworth 1386 Pat, Aysheton Keynes 1572 Recov, Asheton Kynes 1588 FF, Aishen Kaines 1691 Par Reg. (Brinkworth). 'Farm by the ash-tree,' v. tun. William de Keynes held the manor in 1256 (FF). Cf. Somerford Keynes infra 46. Note.Brodwaye 1603 AOMB; Portwayfurlong t. Jas I LRMB. See supra 16.

Kent End is to be associated with the family of Ralph Kent (1327 SR). It is Kent End 1773 A and D.1 1 J. E. B. Gover, Allen Mawer and F. M. Stenton, ENGLISH PLACE-NAME SOCIETY. VOLUME XVI, The Place-Names of Wiltshire (Cambridge University Press, London: Bentley House, Cambridge At The Univesity Press , 1939) p. 41.

Websites[edit | edit source]

Wiltshire and Swindon Record Office, Libraries and Heritage Headquarters,E-mail:

Area: All areas

A landmark visitor to the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre was presented with a gift and flowers on Tuesday, March 30.

Mrs Rosemary Bennington of Chippenham, is the 50,000th user of the centre since it opened in October 2007. The presentation party included Wiltshire Councillor Stuart Wheeler, Allyson Jordan, head of libraries Swindon Borough Council and Andrew Kerr, chief executive of Wiltshire Council.

Mrs Bennington, who regularly uses the history centre, said: “I have been researching my family tree and there are so many resources available at the history centre, far more than you think. In addition to parish registers I have been consulting a wide variety of documents such as school and court records, and the staff at the history centre are really helpful.”

The history centre is open to the public Tuesday to Saturday and contains a treasure trove of more than seven miles of archives going back more than 800 years, plus information and advice for heritage-lovers. It has rapidly become popular with local and family historians, school groups and other researchers, attracting visitors from all over the world.

Stuart Wheeler said: “Following our success in a national customer survey, where the history centre received a 100% satisfaction rating, it is good to see that customers are also voting with their feet.

“I am delighted to meet Mrs Bennington, one of a large number of users now benefiting from this modern, state-of-the-art facility. Our staff work hard to ensure everyone who comes into contact with the history centre has a welcoming and enjoyable experience. They are also involved in innovative projects that encourage a wide range of community groups and individuals of all ages to connect with Wiltshire and Swindon’s rich and diverse heritage.”

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of England (1848), pp. 90-96. Date accessed: 12 August 2013.
  2. Madge Paterson and Ernie Ward, A Village With No History (Keith Cowley, Oaklands Road, Chirkbank, Shropshire 1986), p. 43 (Gloucestershire County Library, Class 942.312, Copy 002) 2Ibid., p. 159.
  3. Madge Paterson and Ernie Ward, A Village With No History (Keith Cowley, Oaklands Road, Chirkbank, Shropshire 1986), p. 43 (Gloucestershire County Library, Class 942.312, Copy 002) 2Ibid., pp. 155-158.
  4. 'Wiltshire Coverage', FreeREG, accessed 10 January 2014.
  5. 'Wiltshire Parish Explorer,' Nimrod Research, accessed 8 January 2014.