This Family Tree was inspired by my father, the Rev. Francis Patrick Bellesme Ashe who, many years ago, began the mammoth task of collecting data on the various branches of the Ashe Family. In doing so, he had the benefit of hand-written information passed down to him by his father, the Rev. Robert Pickering Ashe, but he added to the information extensively from other sources.
One very good source was Robert Scott-Ashe who, when he decided to sell the Ashe Manor in 1998 and cleared out the Library, came across a Manuscript by Waller Ashe of Tipparary dated about 1870. This traced the Ashe Family Tree back to around 950 in Normandy, and a copy of the Manuscript was given to my father. Waller Ashe’s research showed that Guillaume de Bellesme built the Chateau d’Essaye d’Essecourt in Alençon for his son, Guillaume II, the ruins of which may still be seen in the small town of Essai in Normandy. Waller Ashe noted the following in his manuscript:
“In collecting the following records I can vouch for their authenticity for I have steadily omitted any name not vouched for by some reliable authority such as the authors I have quoted. I spent some months in the library of the British Museum verifying the extracts from Count Ogilvy’s work kindly placed at my disposal by my kinsman, Mr. Ashe of Langley. I am also much indebted to the library of my friend, Sir Thomas Barrett of Belthur Essex for the earlier part of this genealogy, and MSS, Parish Registers and tombs have also helped me. I have had several motives in this labor (of some years): First, to make my son acquainted with the details of his Knightly and gentle lineage, so that he may in life bear himself with that truth, courage and loyalty which alone can make a gentleman. Second, to fulfil a promise made to Mr. Ashe of Langley; and Third, for my own satisfaction to see whether various persons, bearing our family name, or claiming kindred had any right to do so.”
In the last several years, the internet has provided access to vast amounts of data including many fascinating old books, and has enabled further cross-checking of information. In expanding the Ashe Family Tree, I was able to consult many new sources that are now available on-line.
In tracing back further generations, I have consulted extensively sources on the internet. In particular, for generations Before Christ (BC), I have used genealogical references which appear in the Bible and which trace the Tree back to Adam and Eve.
It is always possible that mistakes creep in and, if errors are found, I humbly ask the reader’s forgiveness.
The Ashe Arms come with their own motto: “Fight – Non nobis sed omnibus” (Not for ourselves but for everyone).” In today’s world, when so much fighting is undertaken to gain advantage for those doing the fighting, the concept of “fighting”, not for ourselves, but for everyone, is worth holding onto – if only in the fight against global warming and conservation of the environment. If globalization has taught us anything, it is that we are all linked around the world, and what affects one community will eventually impact on others. It is therefore in our own interests to care for others, and not just for ourselves.
When Jesus was asked which was the greatest commandment in the Law, he replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” The Ashe motto could be likened to this second commandment, and it is a valuable principle which my parents, Pat and Marion Ashe, have taught me. In recognition of all that they have done for me, and all that they mean to me, this Family Tree is dedicated to them.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”