Subscribe to our Newsletter

Ash, George

Back to performers

George Ash sang Here’s Away to the Downs to Alfred Williams between 1913 and 1916 in Ampney Crucis.

Several villages with ‘Ampney’ in their name are situated to the east of Cirencester along the brook of that name. The largest is Ampney Crucis.  Ampney St Mary is much smaller and fell into disuse from the 18th century onwards and was amalgamated in many areas with nearby Ampney St Peter. George Ash’s family lived in all three of these villages. The curate in Ampney St Peter made some notes on life in the village in 1811 and 1821 when most of the families were employed in ‘husbandry and labour’ and supporting ‘trade or handicraft’.

George Ash was born in Ampney St Mary, otherwise known as Ashbrook, and baptised there on16 February 1845, the son of Joseph and Ellen Ash. Two previous generations of George Ash’s family lived in the Ampneys. His grandfather, Edward Ash, was a labourer and on 15 November 1795 he and his wife, Mary, baptised their daughter, Susannah, in Ampney St Peter Church. George Ash’s father, Joseph Ash was born in Ampney St Mary about 1811 and on 15 June 1831 he was living in Ampney St Peter where he married Ellen Evans also from Ampney St Peter. Joseph and Ellen had three children, James born about 1834, Elizabeth born about 1837 and Sarah born about 1838 and by 1839 they were living in Ampney St Mary where their son, John, was baptised on 26 October 1839. By 1841 Joseph and Ellen had five more children in Ampney St Mary as he was working as a labourer there: Edwin born about 1841, Mary born about 1843, George born in 1845, Harriet born about 1848 and Joseph born about 1849.  Joseph continued to live in a cottage in Ampney St Mary, working as an agricultural labourer and had another daughter, Lucy Ann, born about 1859. By 1861 George, his sister, Harriet and brother, Joseph, were all working as agricultural labourers at the young ages of 16, 14 and 12 respectively.

In 1867 George Ash married Jane Spring Tilling who was from Ampney St Mary and by 1871 he was working as a shepherd and living in a cottage in Ampney Crucis with Jane and two children, George baptised 13 September 1868 in Ampney St Mary and Emily Jane baptised in Ampney Crucis  15 April 1871. The family continued to live and work as a shepherd in Ampney Crucis and by 1881 they had four further children all born in Ampney Crucis: Arthur James born 1872, Margaret Ellen baptised on 24 May 1874, Alice Mary baptised 2 April 1876 in Ampney St Mary, and John baptised 28 December 1879. By then his son George was working as a ploughboy.

George’s mother, Ellen, had died at the end of 1869 aged 58 but on 17 January 1874 his father remarried to Harriet Page from Barnsley who was three years younger than him and had not previously been married. They lived at Hilcot End, Ampney Crucis By 1881 George and his father were living next door to each other in Ampney St Mary.

George and Jane Ash then had a daughter, Elsie Jane, who was baptised in Ampney Crucis on 17 October 1886 and a son Charles who was baptised in Ampney Crucis on 23 July1892. He continued to work as a shepherd and by 1891 the only child still living at home in Dudley Cottage, Ampney Crucis was Margaret who was working as a general servant at home. Dudley Cottages nos. one, two and three still exist there. That same year George’s father, Joseph, died and was buried in Ampney St Mary. His second wife, Harriet, died in 1896 and was buried in Ampney Crucis. George Ash’s wife, Jane, died in Ampney Crucis and was buried there on 15 June 1898. George continued to work as a shepherd living ‘near cemetery’ in Ampney Crucis according to the 1901 census with his daughters, Margaret and Jennie, and his son, Charles, who was working as an agricultural labourer. He was still there working as a shepherd in 1911 living with his unmarried daughter, Margaret, his son, Charles, who was still working as an agricultural labourer and his daughter, Jane who had married a Mr Talbot two years previously and had one son, Harold aged 1 born in Coxwell, Berkshire. By then George Ash had been married for 30 years and had 9 children all still living.

George Ash died in 1924 in the Cirencester registration district. George’s daughter Margaret died unmarried in June 1947 in the Cirencester registration district. George’s son John married Rosetta Winifred Haines of 60 Gloucester Street, Cirencester, the daughter of a labourer on 26 December 1904 in Cirencester and by 1911 they were living in Harnhill, Cirencester where John was working as a cowman with two daughters,  Margaret born abut 1906 and Winifred born 1910.

Notes by Carol Davies August 2016

For more biographical information, see

http://history.wiltshire.gov.uk/community/getfolkbio.php?id=6