This week I have focused on a surname that occurs in my own ancestry, the surname of AYLING.
My Grandfather’s sister, Ellen Butcher married Albert Edward Ayling in 1930 at St Nicholas Church at Guildford. Albert was known by his middle name, though it was shortened to Ted. He was a keen sportsman, playing cricket in the Surrey village of Shackleford until he was in his early 70’s.
When my Aunt died in 2009, aged 98, she had been a widow some 24 years. During the time I spent with the family following my Aunt’s burial, I was asked if I could do some research on the Aylings. This I did, sharing with the family. Recently, with the death of one of their children, I have turned again to those notes and taken the opportunity to research further.
I had a quick look at that earlier research and found that Ted’s Ayling family had hailed from Lurgershall in Sussex. A coincidence was that another branch of my family come from the same village. In the space of an hour I managed to retrace Ted’s family back to 1801, which confirmed the earlier research.
Sussex is a hotbed of Ayling’s, as is Hampshire and to a lesser degree Surrey. A quick look at Surname Atlas which is a super surname distribution map, based on the 1881 Census. This map shows the most instances of the surname in the darker counties. You will see that Sussex is a significant county, followed by Middlesex, Surrey, Hampshire and Kent. Then there are a few other incidences of the surname in the palest locations, such as Norfolk.
A few years ago, I came across a lovely watercolour painted by George Ayling (1887-1969). I purchased it, not because of the Ayling connection, but because of the view. The painting is the view across Lurgershall from the Mill and towards the church. This mill is now located at the Wield and Downlad Museum. I visited the museum more than 40 years ago whilst I was at school.
The next instalment of #AYearInSurnames will be posted sometime next weekend. If you would like to take part, you can read the introductory post HERE, but essentially,each Saturday (UK time), a blog post that fits with the theme for the week should be written and posted to your own site during the forthcoming week. Do not forget to leave the link for your post in the comments on this site.
For those who like to plan ahead, I have released the blog themes for the entire year and these can be downloaded from HERE