This unusual surname is English. It is locational and originates from a village called Five Ashes, in the county of Sussex. Curiously the village does not appear in the Dictionary of English Place Names, and therefore we have to assume that it was called Five Ashes, because there were originally five prominent ash trees. Certainly the ash was highly regarded by the ancient people, and with the oak was considered to have magical powers. There are several places called Five Oaks, so it maybe that the number five had some significance which is not clearly understood in the late 20th century. Locational surnames are usually 'from' names. That is to say names given to people after they left their original homes to move somewhere else. This may have been the next village, or in modern terms fairly close by, or it could be by the standards of the period, far off in London for instance, a place where most dispossessed people seem to have headed for. In this case though the name is quite well recorded in the county of Sussex in Elizabethan times, although less so as the centuries continued. These early recordings include: Jeames Fiveash who married the exotically named Friswid Exton at St Pancras Church, Chichester, on November 27th 1561, and later that of Christian Fiveash, apparently a female, who married John Hussee at Stedham, on April 26th 1631.