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Surname – ASTON

October 12, 2013

A location-based surname, likely to mean “East of the settlement 1, 2,” or East of the main village.

I mentioned my great-great-grandfather, Joseph Henry ASTON (born: December 02, 1834; died: January 05, 1905) before as I discovered the abstracts of the muster rolls for his military service during the US Civil War.

Joseph’s father, Samuel ASTON (born abt: 1797, died abt: 1858), is a character of some intrigue in the family lore. From one of the unpublished family history collections I have (written and compiled by Alice ESKHOLME) there is the following:

There are numerous “stories” as to what happened to great-grandfather SAMUEL ASTON.

One being that his sons were so disgusted with him because he was always drunk and that they “chipped together” and bought a ticket and sent him back to England. (To me, a very unlikely story.)

Another is: That after the Mexican War, when the Government could not pay the soldiers they were offered land or a keg of rum and he chose the rum. (This is not borne out by the military records.)

Another was: That he was granted a piece of land (160 acres) on Lake Michigan (about in the heart of where Chicago now is) but thereafter sold the deed for a keg of rum. The military records show that he was granted 160 acres, but no location is shown, and that he assigned the Warrant for same to his agent, Edward Andariese.

The story that he went West seems most likely of all. I am more inclined to think that he did not buy rum with the proceeds from his Land Warrant but that he used whatever money he obtained to buy supplies to go West. However, he was never heard of again by any member of his family. He probably joined up with the “Gold Rush” pioneer in 1849 neaded for California, or maybe Oregon; or maybe the “Silver Strike” in Nevada. Yet again, he may have headed south to Texas or New Mexico.

His reason for going? Well, there could have been many. Maybe he was “nagged to death” at home. My personal opinion is that he was a restless individual and craved action – adventure.

At any rate, the 1858 Brooklyn Directory lists great-grandmother, SARA ASTON, widow, dressmaker.


“FIND YOUR LAST NAME.” Surname Database: Last Name Origins. N.p., n.d. Web.
12 Oct. 2013. http://www.surnamedb.com/Surname/Aston

“Last Name Meanings Dictionary.” Last Name Meanings Dictionary. N.p., n.d. Web.
12 Oct. 2013. http://www.last-names.net/surname.asp?surname=Aston

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