Researching Ashburton
Above: Arcadian crested ware. From my own collection


Ashburton resources

If you want to research local or family history in Ashburton, here are some resources that I have found. Most are either for free or are at little cost, but I have added some useful commercial ones at the bottom of the page. The first section is for if you are visiting Ashburton in person - please bear in mind that many of these facilities are manned by volunteers, and may have restricted visiting hours. They may not be open at all in the winter. Please assume that they cannot deal with postal enquiries about your own research.

The second section has online resources.

See the sub-menu for the Ashburton bibliography

The Ashburton Information Centre has books and booklets about the area, and is staffed by knowledgeable volunteers. They have some information on memorials in the St Andrew's Churchyard

Ashburton Library. Link from has a small reference section with photocopies from local directories and other publications, and files of newspaper cuttings.

Ashburton Museum has a large number of local artefacts. Worth asking the volunteers if they have anything on the subject you are particularly interested in.

The St Lawrence Chapel has a large collection of material connected with Ashburton Grammar School, and with the Portreeves of the town. There is  a model of the old railway station in The Stanley Gill Room.

Online resources

The Ashburton entries from Pigot's Directory of 1822-23 can be found here: - Accessed 15-01-2017

1851 census via Family Search

1861 census FreeCEN

1881 census via Family Search

1881 census via Find My Past

1881 census via The British Surnames website Every surname in Ashburton recorded in the 1881 census

1891 census FreeCEN – (you can put 'Ashburton' under 'Civil parish')

Directories from

Pigot & Co 1844

White's 1850 and 1878/79

Slater's 1852/53

Kelly's 1893, 1902, 1914

Names from Pigot's 1822-23 Directory can be found here

White's 1850 directory is also available for free as a Google eBook.


Val Hender's transcription of Morris and Co.'s Commercial Directory and Gazetteer 1870 is here: - Accessed 9-11-2019

Internet Archive

Kelly's Directory of Devon 1902 (Worth putting in other searches on this site)

World maps online  has several maps of the area from various time periods

Ashburton Digital Archive is a database of burials within St Andrew's Churchyard. It is an ongoing project, and currently holds some sections from the 'Old Section' (burials 1637 - 2013), the entire '1956 Section', which includes burials from 1956 - 2015, and the entire '1884 Section' which includes burials from 1884 - 2015

Go to 08-08-2023

A search for 'Ashburton' in the National Archives 'Discovery' pages - brings up over a thousand results, which can be refined. Accessed 11-1-2014.

A search for 'Ashburton' in the catalogue of Devon Archives brings up over 2,900 results, which can be refined. Accessed 17-9-2018

Exeter Cathedral has an online catalogue to the holdings in its library and archive. A search for 'Ashburton' brings up four pages of results. - Accessed 26-12-15

The Forebears website has links to many resources - some are paid sites, but many are free. Accessed 20-02-2015 is an international grave monument directory. Go to England, then Devon, then to St Andrews Ashburton - there are details of 397 graves, and 708 names.

From the town website at

Names on the War Memorial

The Totnes Image Bank has some fabulous Ashburton photographs online. Their online images are only a fraction of those they have, so it may be worth contacting them if you have a specific enquiry.


The Ashburton tithe map is available here:

The list of landowners and occupiers from the Ashburton tithe  apportionment is accessible from a link on the above page - Accessed 02-12-2017

From Genuki

Names from some directories

Transcriptions of some wills and legal documents

A history of the Foote family of Ashburton

List of signatories who promise to pay bounties to seamen in 1793 - Accessed 17-12-2014

The Devon Wills Index

Lindsey Withers transcription of Absconding Apprentices, as listed in Trewman's Exeter Flying Post: - Accessed 18/10/2018

Inquests 1874-1909, contains many Ashburton entries - - Accessed 09/03/2019

plus lots of pointers to other resources.

For blacksmith ancestors, try the Blacksmith's Index Several Ashburton people in the Devon section.

For information on the book trades connected to Ashburton, see the Exeter Working Papers in the book History at - Accessed 23-08-2015


From - the World Connect site 

A search by Database keyword "Ashburton" brings up: 

"William Knott of Ashburton England and related families"  

"Ashburton Yolland family"  (as at December 2012)


The will of Joanna Adams (nee Glanville) of Ashburton, 1840 can be found on Jay Glanville's site (go to Wills via Dead docs)

See also the website featuring the Glanvill/Glanville family in Ashburton and in Maker and Rame in Cornwall - Accessed 31-12-2012


Rick Desmier has a detailed website on the Earle family. It can be found at - Accessed 5-11-2016

The Westaway one-name study has a page on the Ashburton Westaway family - plus mentions of the names Berry, Whiddon and Honeywill. Go to then 'Biographies', 'Westaway Families' and finally 'The headstones in St Andrew, Ashburton church yard, by Nicola Aldridge'.


Jim Greenwood's family history website has pages on the Ashburton Harding and Wills families - Accessed 23-01-2017


The Begent family home pages have a section on the Smerdon family in Ashburton has entries about the Triggs family in Ashburton. Accessed 23-01-2017


The Devon Family History Society have some baptism (1813 -1821, 1822-1829, 1830 -1840) marriage (1754 - 1812) and burial indexes (1813 -1837) at moderate cost.

They also have baptisms from the Independent Chapel from 1817-1839

The Friends of Devon Archives have posted the Devon and Exeter Oath Rolls 1723 (sworn at the School House, Ashburton) at - Accessed 16-1-2014

They have also posted 18th century Freeholders Books, including several for Ashburton. - Accessed 23-01-2017

The following two sites are commercial ones:
Both are available at some libraries - and both occasionally have periods with free access to their records. It is worth being signed up to newsletters that will tell you when this happens - I personally receive emails from the Lost Cousins website