Wednesday, March 05, 2008

'Ansgot' Normandy French meaning Ainscough??

I received an interesting email last night from Jeff ( thanks Jeff. This throws a different perspective on the origin of the name Ainscough. I have a few questions already....... William the Conqueror invaded in 1066; Lutheran history (the birth of Protestantism) was during the reign of Henry VIII - early to mid 1500's although research suggests that St Augustine of Hippo was an early inspiration of protestantism
I still have no evidence to suggest that Ansgot means Ainscough, but I need to devote more time to checking online. A quick glance reveals there are lots of mentions of the name Ansgot, a French Normandy Mediaeval surname and even Scandinavian links to the name eg.
Scandinavian personal name 'Ásgautr' = English Place name 'Osgathorpe' (Leics), 'Osgodby' (East Riding, North Yks, Lincs)= Norman place name 'Ansgot Moulins' (Seine-Mar.).

We already know that many of the early Ascough families were noblemen as described in Wikipedia the Ayscough family of Lincolnshire were knights and many of this branch went on to become devout Protestants, indeed Anne (Ayscough) Askew was burnt at Smithfield for her beliefs during Henry VIII reign.
But the link to the name 'Ansgot' seems a little tenuous at the moment. The Mawdesley Ainscough link in the Ormskirk/ Scarisbrick area of Lancashire is firmly supported by evidence in Wills as early as 1585 and later on by Census detail. With names like de Aykescogh appearing in texts from 11th Century - see blog article.
Anybody else have any theories or evidence to back the Normandy link up?
We definitely need someone from the male Ainscough line to take that DNA test to see if we are from a Viking stock....anybody up for it?? Let me know and I will put you in touch with the right people.

On 5 Mar 2008, at 02:10, Ainscough, Jeff wrote:
I recently received this from and thought I'd share it.
Ainscough is a French "Hugenot" name. When William the Conqueror invaded England, he brought his army of knights. These knights from Normandy were given land for their effort during the invasion and were placed as his head of government in each shire. Wiki encyclopedia has info on a plaque placed in a cathedral in Normandy before leaving for England. This plaque has a list of knights. There are 2 knights listed as "Ansgot" which would have been the French spelling for Ainscough. Normandy was the protestant part of France. French "Hugenot" meant French protestant.

On 5 Mar 2008, at 21:58, Michael Ainsough ( wrote:
Hi, I have heard about this same family from France, I am up for the DNA test if you need someone.
Mike Ainscough

On 10 Mar 2008, at 02:35, Ainscough, Ed wrote:
Getting bombarded at home mail from post I made at Genealogy 8 yrs ago, similar thread to recent mail from Jeff. I agree with you, simply put on timing there were no protestants around at the time of the Norman Conquest. The geography place name links to the Lancashire region (Burscough etc) are just too strong and given its pronunciation link to modern Scandinavian word for wood seems a long bow for these people to draw. I saw all of these ideas on Genealogy and they stemmed from an American researching one side of their family that had an Ainscough in it. I tried to reason with them and gave up as Americans clearly like the idea of the romance of the Huguenots as opposed to admitting they dug ditches in Scandinavia before being dragged along with marauding invaders/pillagers/rapers.....Also just to note, the Normans were Viking Scandinavian also, being a corruption of Norsemen, men from the north etc. As with these invaders elsewhere they quickly settled and assimilated, adopting the tongue mostly of the area they had conquered. Thus there is a very good chance that if the Angost name was around it may well be a local variant of the same name root, altho this would not imply any genetic relationship, just a similar place name origin source for the name. Still doesn't have anything to do with Protestantism though given the wide margin on dates as you pointed out......
chrs Ed

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