The story of our ancestry goes back to Denmark when the Oslac or Aslac, was a popular Danish name during the reign of King Canute the Great, the Danish King. Our surname is found in northern England in the earliest historical document, Bede Ecclesiastical History. The Danish Vikings settled an area, the Danelaw that consists of many counties including the East Anglia and Northumbria, what is known today as the northern counties of Suffolk, Norfolk, and Lincoln. Typical of his kinfolk, Oslac vel Aslac, our first forefather, settled in the northern area called Northumbria in the city of
Aslackby, England , and held lands also in Norfolk and Nottinghamshire by 1066 according to the Domesday Book. Records show that Oslac not only struck coins but had his coins minted in Lincoln and London from 1016-1035 with his mark on one side and Cnut’s seal on the other side.
William, the Conqueror
William I conquered England in 1066. As part of the Norman Conquest of England, William had a census of the entire country known as the Domesday Book that consists of the greater Domesday and the little Domesday when the King named the counties of England. Oslac and Alac had settled in the northern area where the Little Domesday was taken which recorded a more comprehensive record since William I had the greatest troubles from the northern counties. During the Norman Conquest, William declared all England’s lands as his own, which may be given to Norman soldiers due land for their loyalty during the Battle of Hastings that won the English throne. Half of the Anglo-Saxon lands became Norman lands within the first twenty years of the William's reign. Anyone foolish enough to rebel was sold into slavery, had their lands seized, and forced to work the land they previously owned.
Alac Aslac & The Northern Rebellion
Alac Aslac held the estates of Coldinghamshire, Guisborough, and Ashby, which were condemned when Aslac, Lefric and twelve knights rebelled against the king. Alac Aslac forfeited his land to Ralph Earl of Norfolk and two of his children, Ingeberg and Ernisius, were sold into slavery. This northern rebellion was King Williams greatest threat to his throne. Consequently, he laid waste of the northern lands in a large scale destruction called the Harrying of the North . He ordered villages burnt, inhabitants slaughtered, crops, herds, tools, and lands destroyed. More than 100,000 people died from hunger and the land was uninhabitable for twenty years.
Probably because of the great destruction of Lincoln county, the family is found in Norfolk and Suffolk with Oslac vel Aslak in the Pipe Rolls of 1167. Alac Aslac settled the city of Aslacton, England in Norwich in Norfolk county. He served in the Knights Templer previous to being the standard bearer to Edward III (1327-1337). The Knights Templer was the first military order, and synonymous with the crusades of the middle ages. These were the most honed soldiers that exhibited great strength and military skill, monk soldiers that gave all their worldly goods to the order of the Templer.
Coat of Arms
The Aslac Coat of Arms was flown in the Great Yarmouth Church shown abovein Norfolk, England. At least five shields were quartered with the Ashlock Coat of Arms: Thorpe, Fastolf, Buckton, Pike, and Bromholm. Families had to be of equal financial means, social status, and reputation to quarter their coat of arms. The Bennett/Ashlock and Pike coat of arms was registered in 1563 to the heraldry office. These families had direct ties to the parliament and the King of England. Thomas Bennett, the secretary to Prince Rupert during the English Civil War, held the Pythouse papers which detailed its military and financial dealings.
Some of the notable members of the Aslac family are listed in John Bennett's Book, A Memoir of the Bennett Family of South Wilts such as John Aslac of Norwich in 1402 became Sergeant at Arms to King Henry IV, and Walter Aslake that fought in the Battle of Agincourt, England's finest victory over France. Like most soldiers that fought in the battle, Walter Aslake gained his family fortune when he ransomed a French prisoner. With profound influence in Norfolk, he lived for thirty years after the battle. In 1425, he brought a suit against the priory of Norwich, and finally donating his estate to the priory upon his death in 1447,. Walter hid the Aslake World Map in the walls of the estate, not to be found until 1985 some four hundred years later.
Some of the family seemed to move westward with the rise of the merchants and were listed as clothiers and shows the marriages of Ashlocks with Pike, Bennett, and Newman Visitation of Wiltshire, 1565 & Visitation of Dorset of 1623). Religious contentions and the rise of the merchant may be a reason some of the family moved west to Wiltshire or Dorset. The East Anglican cloth trade declined with the England’s wars with Spain and Holland. Protestantism was introduced to England with the Anglican Church, but the Catholic Mary took the throne. Bloody Mary I had thirty people executed from Suffolk before 1558.
Suffolk & London
The family moved southward where Thomas Ashlock settled at St Marys Church, Bury St Edmunds parish in Suffolk, England with Thomas Ashlock in 1611. a time of great religious and political unrest the Stuart reign incorporated a theory of divine right as religious lines separated England in the English Civil War. The Catholic royalists settled near Wiltshire, and the Parliamentarian stronghold was in East Anglia right in the Suffolk Ashlock’s back yard. Indeed, chances are great that our family was involved in the rebellions of the seventeenth century.
Considering the political unrest in England, it not surprising the family lost their fortune. Thomas Ashlock’s grandson, John Ashlock, became a fishmonger in the Fishmongers Guild in London. John indentured himself into seven years of slavery to Archibald Archer, a fellow fishmonger, and headed to Virginia in 1683. Political and religious unrest came again to England when Charles II took the throne and made a secret agreement to return to country to Catholicism. By 1681, he ruled alone without the parliament and the Rye House plot to kill the king was discovered in 1683 in the very year John departed for Virginia.
1. Bennett, John. (1952). London:private publisher.
To assert the Danish/Scandinavian name
1a. Scandinavian personal names in Lincolnshire and Yorkshire by Gillian Fellows Jensen
2. Anglo-Saxon England By Peter Clemoes; p272 asserting that at Lincoln Aslac or Oslac asserts a scandanavian heritage.
3. Origines Islandicae: The old constitution. Libellus Islandorum. Primitive by Guðbrandur Vigfússon, Frederick York Powell. Pdf available p 127. (translation needed)
4. The Publications of the Surtees Society, Volume 86 by Surtees Society. (translation needed)
5. A dictionary of English and Welsh surnames: with special American instances by Charles Wareing Endell Bardsley, Mrs. A. Bardsley. (pdf available important information to the date and location of Thomas, Walter, William, John; Aslacton information and Aslakeby, Azlacke, and Aslachson dating to from 1400-1800’s.
6. A Dictionary of English Surnames by PH Reaney and RM Wilson. First published as A Dictionary of British Surnames 1958. ISBN: 041505737X Sheffield UP or Routledge, 1991, p219, needs translation.
7. The Magazine of American genealogy, Volumes 1-5, p16 By Institute of American Genealogy. Text:”The dwelling of Aslac, the first settler. 3 — Lower says, "Aislabie, one of the oldest names in the county of Durham, from Aislaby, a parish on the Tees on the banks of which the family still resides. In old documents it is written, Ashlackby; Aysalibie and in about 50 other modes. 5-1379 Hugo de Aslaby, Yorks. Poll tax p. 92; 1557 Katherine de Aslaby, daughter of Francis Aslakeby(Visitation of Yorkshire p4) 1765…..
8. The place-names of England and Wales By James Brown Johnston. P. 95 and 114 reference both Aslackby (Folkingham) and Aslacton (Long Stratton)
9. Domesday Book, Index, Part Two: Persons by J M Dodgson and J J N Palmer 405p. (History from the Sources/Phillimore 1992) **Search both Oslac, Aslac, & Aslackr
10. Domesday book, Volume 34, Issue 1 by John Morris
11. Domesday book: Norfolk / ed. by Philppa Brown : Pt. 1, Volume 31; Volume 33 By Philippa Brown v. 31 & 33 xiii, lxxxvii; “In Bixley one freeman under the patronage of Aslac with a half”
12. The Lincolnshire Domesday and the Lindsey survey by Charles Wilmer Foster, Thomas Longley. Text: Laythorpe Hundred 35. Three M. In Chelebi [Kelby in Haydor (Aswardhurn)] Aslac, Brictic, and Archil had 6 carucates and 3 bovates of land [assessed] to the geld. There is land for 8 teams. Now Almod, the bishops man, has 2 teams there [in demense] and 7 villeins and 3 sokemen and 3 bordars with 2 teams. T.R.E. is worth 70 shillings, now 6 pounds. P. 97 lists, “In Ringesdune [Ringstone(Aveland)] Aslac and Dane had..” under item 15; and page 131 lists something I cannot ascertain.
13. Domesday Book, Index, Part Two: Persons by J M Dodgson and J J N Palmer 405p. (History from the Sources/Phillimore 1992) **Search both Oslac, Aslac, & Aslackr
14. Domesday book, Volume 34, Issue 1 by John Morris
15. Domesday book: Norfolk / ed. by Philppa Brown : Pt. 1, Volume 31; Volume 33 By Philippa Brown v. 31 & 33 xiii, lxxxvii; “In Bixley one freeman under the patronage of Aslac with a half”
Assertion of the taking of Aslac lands were given to Ralph Earl of Norfolk.
16. An essay towards a topographical history of the county of Norfolk By Francis Blomefield, Charles Parkin. P 93 Text under Ashby and Claxton which states clearly that after the great survey, Aslac’s was condemned and his land in both places was taken from him, and given to Ralph Earl of Norfolk, which was notorious with the King until his rebellion with Revolt of the Earls with Waltheorp.
19. Memorials of old Whitby: or, Historical gleanings from ancient Whitby records by John Christopher Atkinson. Last p of 76 and p 77 pdf avail; Asserts to the Aslack name and standing.
20. Calendar of the Charter Rolls Preserved in the Public Record Office: Henry III By Great Britain. Public Record Office, H. C. Maxwell Lyte. P 95 pdf avail (Theobald de Lascelles gifted many things to the priory of Guisborough including Ernisius, son of Aslac, and Ingeberg, daughter of Aslac.)
21. A history of Whitby, and Streoneshalh abbey: with a statistical ..., Volume 1 By George Young that confirms the above report that Ingeberg and Ernisius were gift to priory of Guisbrough). Pdf avail.
22. The history and antiquities of Cleveland: comprising the wapentake of East by John Walker Ord. p. 186 pdf avail; The book shows the abuses of Henry I and how he tried to stop the saleing and gifting; “[under] Henry I, an attempt was made to prevent this odious traffic, and a law enacted, “that no one should any longer presume to carry on the nefarious trade by which the men in England were wont to be exposed to sale like brute beasts.”
23. Miscellanea, Volume 127 By Surtees Society, p303; Aislaby, Aslakeby, Aselakeby, Aslageby, Asselageby, Aslakeby, 80; manerium de, 16; villata de, 77, 86; Galfridus fil. Rob, de, 76; Joh. Fil Walt. de, 10; Juliana uxor Walt. De, 78; Plesencia uxor Thome de, 83, 96, 97…
24. A History of Coldingham Priory: containing a Survey of the Civil and Ecclesiastical History of Eastern part of Berwickshire, anciently named Coldinghamshire. By Alexander Allen Carr. p250 Text: About the children of Aslac (Ingeberg and Ernisius,) being Norman Slaves
* Hominibus. The inhabitants were in olden times bought, sold, and disposed of with the land, as constituting part of itself. In old documents they are constantly occurring, under the names of villanes, drengi, homagii, bondi, husbandii, &c. Their children, and whatever property belonged to them, were equally disposable at the will of the lord of the manor. Thus, in a charter quoted in Young's work, we find Theobald de Lascelles granting to the priory of Guisbrough, " Robert the son of Ketell, Godwin, the overseer, Ervise the son of Aslac, Alice the wife of Serlo, &c. with their offspring and effects." At such a statement the reader may well stare. “The places here enumerated are situated within Coldinghamshire, and with the exception of the two last still retain the same names. Cramesmouth appears to have been the small creek or fishing village on the coast, situate at the junction of the parishes of Avion and Lamberton, now called Burnmouth. One of the creeks through which the fishermen's boats are drawn up, is still known by the name of Cramsmoo, though it is more commonly designated Johnston's Haven. Farndun was probably on the site of the places called Farnyside or Farnycastle, in the parishes of Ayton and Coldingham.”
Assertion of Oslac vel Aslac Striking Coins in Lincoln & London
25. Sylloge of coins of the British Isles, Volume 27 by British Academy (Also Oslac since he struck coins in Lincoln and London); Sylloge of coins in Lincolnshire collections by Nationalmuseet (Denmark)
26. Money talks: reconstructing Old English by Fran Colman
27. Curia Regis Rolls ...: 8-10 John. 1931 v5 1931 p 121, 158, 334. By England. Curia Regis, Great Britain. Curia regis, Cyril Thomas Flower, Great Britain. Public Record Office
28. Pleas Before the King Or His Justices, 1198-1202: Rolls or fragments of by England. Curia Regis, Doris Mary Parsons Stenton. v2 1967(William Aslac be at Thetford on Monday after the feast of St. Andrew 7 Dec 1198) p. 24 and 400.
29. Magazine of American genealogy, Issue 9; Issues 11-17 references Aslac & Aslock
30. The register of Thomas Langley, Bishop of Durham ..., Volume 1; Volume 164 by Catholic Church, Diocese of Durham (England). (Important information here! And in LATIN)
31. Lincolnshire notes & queries, Volumes 20-21, 1928, p57 (The text states: “it seems reasonable to me that this benefactor was Aslac, who in the days of Edward the Confessor had been a holder of lands in various places; in Kelby-in-Haydor, he, with Brietric and Archil, had had 6 car: 3 bov:”
32. The Gentleman's magazine,
V 150, p592. Text: The village at Ashley-cum-Fenby is pleasantly situated in a romantic valley at the foot of the wold hills in the north-east parts of Lindsey…..The manor of Ashby was the property of Wido de Credon, which formerly belonged to Aslac the Saxon.
33. The poets and poetry of Europe By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Cornelius Conway Felton, p57 pdf avail
34. Fraser's magazine, Volume 91, p 486. pdf avail.
35. Parliamentary papers, Volume 28 By Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons. Line item: 436, Scarrington with Aslacton.
36. Annals of the coinage of Britain and its dependencies: from the ..., Volume 1 By Rogers Ruding, p. 383, 388
37. Dictionnaire universel des sciences ecclésiastiques By Jean Baptiste Glaire. P162, pdf avail, trans needed. ASLAC (Conrad), théologien danois, protestant, né à Bergen en 1564, mort en 1624, professa à Copenhague les langues latine, grecque, hébraïque, et la théologie. 11 a laisse, entre autres ouvrages : 1° Physica et Ethica Mosaica ; Hanau, 1613, in-8»; — 2° de Christo, vero Deo et homine in una indivisa persona, etc.; Francfort, 1620, in-8°, et Copenhague, 1622, in-4°; — 3° de Statu Christi, ante incnrnationem et in incarnatione, etc.; Copenhague, 1622, in-4°; — 4° des Commentaires sur l'Écriture. des Thèse* thiologiqves et travaux sur la langue hébraïque ; — 5° de Dicendi et discendi rattone libri très, ouvrage qui a été mis à l'Index le 2 décembre 1622. Voy. Mollerus, in Spicit. ad Barth.,p. 13. Richard et Giraud, qui donnent la liste des ouvrages d'Aslac.
38. Paul Hasluck in Australian history: civic personality and public life By Tom Stannage. Hasluck also wrote the book Mucking About that I own. Hasluck refers that the name is traced back to Scandanavian heritage and trace its appearance to the time of Canute…referencing three different persons of Bede’s Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. Variants include Aselock and Aslac in Notinghamshire and Oslac at Oslactuna in Norfolk (this is new) Asla of Aslacton, Aslak, Aslake, Aslack, Aslock…
39. Onomasticon. Publisher: CUP Archive, 1907. (possibly through Cambridge UP)
40. Studien zur Englischen Philologie by Lorenz Morsbach. http://books.google.com/books?id=7opp06dCKHcC&pg=RA2-PA20&dq=Aslac&cd=6#v=onepage&q=Aslac&f=false
41. Preparatory to Anglo-Saxon England: being the collected papers of Franks By Frank Merry Stenton, Doris Mary Stenton, p 101. This source refers to the many points between the person nomenclature of the twelfth c which is preserved in the place names of the Danelaw. Any collection of twelfth c charters from Danelaw is certain to contain examples of names like Aslac, Grim, Agmund, Swein…Earlier bearers of these names are recorded in places like Aslackby, Grimsby, Lincs, notts, (Alluding to Aslac being a popular Scandinavian name)
42. The Battle abbey roll: With some account of the Norman lineages, Volume 1 By Catherine Lucy Wilhelmina Powlett Cleveland (Duchess p47, but p90 in pdf) under Bertram the author believes “the barony of Briquebec comes from Brico, A Norwegian Viking who was ancestor to the family. Aslac, his son, filled a great part of Norman History. His brother, Amfrid the Dane, was ancestor to Earls of Chester, and the barons of Bec-Crispin.” (quoting the Norman People) However, the author is forgetting that I believe this is the same barony, a priory of Guisbrough, that both Ernisius and Ingeberg were given or sold to after the condemnation of Aslac. I am quite doubtful about these conclusions. It is unclear where the evidence was found to make these grand assumptions. The book “The Norman People”is referenced, but there is not a bibliography or works cited for this book, so it is unclear who this author is referencing.
43. Islendinga saga By Sturla Þórðarson, Guðbrandur Vigfússon. P206 asserts to “Teit, the son of Aslac.
44. A catalogue of English coins in the British museum: Anglo-Saxon series, v2 By Reginald Stuart Poole. P 244, 320 alert to Aslac striking coins in London and Lincoln.
45. The history of Norfolk: from original records and other authorities. By Robert Hindry Mason, p70. Under Aslacton, asserts that Aslac was abandoned at the church stile and was brought up by the parish, and from the town was called Aslac, who became Standard Bearer to Edward III, and married a daughter of Sir Oliver Calthorp of Burnham, and the window is adorned with his arms. (This account is discredited by another account stating that the marriage and the story of him being standard bearer to Edward was incorrect.
46. Councils and ecclesiastical documents relating to Great Britain, v1, By Arthur West Haddan, William Stubbs, David Wilkins. P688 alludes to Aslac Minister, which reference note states, “conjectured by Mr. Carne, Bishopric of Cornwall p. 20.” I also doubt this reference because our family has never been in Cornwall.
47. The history and antiquities of the County of Suffolk, v1 By Alfred Suckling. “In this hamlet, Aslac, a free Saxon, held under Burchard 40 acres for a manor, with four bordars. One plough was kept on the demense lands, and half an one by the tenants; so it would appear, that one plough was employed jointly by the farmers of this and Ralph Bainard’s estate. Here was wood for only 3 swine, with one acre and a half of meadow. Its Saxon value had been 5 shillings, which the Normans raised to 9 shillings and 600 herrings. At the Survey, the whole of this estate was held in demense by Hugo de Montford.”
48. Everything that had been held in a particular place by Godwin, Edric or Aslac TRE, that is, at the time of King Edward. Why is this important? Because these three set the Saxon law, and every time we see Aslac TRE it might be alluding ot law not the person.
49. Domesday Book and the Law: Society and Legal Custom in Early Medieval England By Robin Fleming. Item 2724, p374 “2724: ii, 277b-278a (66-81) Annexations (invasions) in Norfolk; Bixley; TRE one and a half freemen, one of who was commended to Aslac, held 17 acres of land in Bixley, Roget Bigot, so he says, had custody (servivit) of this in the King’s hand, and he pays rent (censum) in the hundred. But the hundred testifies that Godric Dapifer held it under the King from the fee of Earl Ralph a year before he could forfeit (forisfaceret), and for two years after, by the gift of the King (ex dono Regis). Against (contra) this, a man of Roger Bigot contradicts this [by offering]orderal or battle. Godric claims this with half of the land which is in Roger Bigot’s return. Godric Dapifer took this land for half a carucate.
50. Aslac listed in the names of the under tenants of lands at the time of the Domesday Survey
51. Romance of Names By Ernest Weekley. P204 Aluding to the Aslac name, that Hasluck cannot belong to the nickname class, but must be an imitative of the personal name, Aslac, which we find in Aslockton.
52. Chronicon Petroburgense By Thomas Stapleton. The manor of Turolvebi, of one carucate and a half, is described as having been the land of Elnod, and free-soke under Aslac, and as held under the abbott by Godfrey.
53. Lincolnshire notes and queries, Volume 7, p48, index p260. Item 105 On the Quindene of St. Hilary. 30 Henry III. 27 January AD1246. 1 bovate of land which William the Conqueror held, and 1 bovate of land which Gilbert son of Aslac formerly held.
54. Excursions through Norfolk, illustrated with engravings, p62. This account tells the story of Walter Aslake in Aslacton or Oslac’s town also called Aslington.
55. A general history of the county of Norfolk: intended to convey all, v1 By John Chambers, p101, Priory manor and tells the story of Aslac, standard bearer to Edward III
56. The bells of England By John James Raven, p130
57. The Norfolk antiquarian miscellany edited by Walter Rye, p193, p365, 461 in latin needs translation. Pdf.
58. The Border magazine, Volume 1, p212
59. Domesday names: an index of Latin personal and place names in Domesday book By K. S. B. Keats-Rohan, David E. Thornton
60. Lincolnshire and the Danes By George Sidney Streatfeild. DB p307, p78; Aslac, D.B, O.N. Aslakr.
61. The hundred rolls and extracts therefrom made by authority 2nd Edward I with translation by Lord John Hervey County of Suffolk By Lord John William Nicholas Hervey, Great Britain, p43, index. Ralph Aslac holds of the lord king in chief 3 acres, part of a gersumary socage fee, in Newton, at an annual rent of 5d.
62. Works ...: Horae scandicae, or works relating to old Scandinavian literature. By William Herbert, A poem: The Song of Hroke the Black which references Aslac’s mother
63. Types of manorial structure in the northern Danelaw: Customary rents. By Frank Merry Stenton, Nellie Neilson, p40, 82, 86. Some text: “In 963, King Edgar gave to a certain Aslac 20 cassates at Sherburn; but the statement of the boundaries”…p82. “To such an explanation the preservation of the Sherburn land-book of 963 presents a superficial difficulty. The estate, without any reference to its past history, is granted de novo by King Edgar, not to the Archbishop but to the thegn Aslac.” p86.
64. Oxford studies in social and legal history, v2 By Sir Paul Vinogradoff. This is almost the same account at number 62.
65. Aarbøger for nordisk oldkyndighet og historie. By Kongelige Nordiske oldskriftselskab (Denmark). Table references Aslac in Lincoln with
Line 102: Aslac 1.01g G1506 1
Line 103: Som 102 1.02g G1508 1
Line 104: Aslac .87g G mgl 1
66. The Publications of the Lincoln Record Society, v19 By Lincoln Record Society, p58, 123, 179. p58- and 1 villein and 4 bordars and 30 acres of underwood. TRE it was worth 20 shillings
p123 –Item 47. M in Isebi (Aisby in Haydour (Threo)] Aslac had 3 carucates of land (assessed) to the geld. There is land for 4 teams. William, Colsuan’s man, has 9 sokemen and 2 bordars there having 4 teams, and 100 acres of meadow. TRE it was worth 6c shillings now the like…
p179 – 57. Land of Guy of Craon (Credon)
67. Record series, Volume 124 By Yorkshire Archaeological Society, Yorkshire Archaeological and Topographical Association, p25, 166. This is the same account as number 65, but it gives a more detailed account: In 963, king Edgar gave to a certain Aslac 20 casati at Sherburn in Elmet; and it can be supposed that from him they passed to the archbishop of York. In a memo c.975 abp Oswald stated that his estate there had lost half the soke formerly…
68. Cnut: the Danes in England in the early eleventh century. By Michael Kenneth Lawson, p172, 280.Others who appear high in the carter witness lists, and whose estates, although unknown, may at one time have been considerable are Aslac…
69. Documents illustrative of the social and economic history of the Danelaw edited by Frank Merry Stenton, p408, 454, 505. Aslac, Asloc, Haslac: Humphrey son of c.n.,
70. Records of the Templars in England in the twelfth century: the Inquest of . By Templars, Beatrice Adelaide Lees, p100, 284. Latin text. Shows Aslac p 100-and Aslackby, if Alac was the standard bearer to Edward III, I have always suspected he would be one of the templars of England during Edward’s reign.
71. Éigse: a journal of Irish studies, Volume 33. By National University of Ireland, p98, 116, probably in gaelic.
72. The pre-conquest personal names of Domesday book By Olof von Feilitzen, p168