This name is either of locational origin from a place in Staffordshire called Ashwood of topographic for someone who lived by an ash wood. The name derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century 'aesc' meaning 'ash', plus 'wuda', a wood or forest. The Staffordshire place name was recorded as Aswude in the 1232 Close Rolls of that county and as Asshewode in the 1292 Charter Rolls. On April 22nd 1665 William Ashwood and Elizabeth Byrch were married in Penkridge, Staffordshire. Earlier recordings of the surname occur in Church Registers of Shropshire and London, (see below). On January 18th 1589 Lucy Ashwood married a Richard Langton in St. Margarets Church, Lothbury, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hughe Ashwoode, son of John Ashwoode, which was dated January 1st 1568, christened at Astley Abbots, Shopshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, 'Good Queen Bess', 1558 - 1603. 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.