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 http://www.ashburton.org/infocentre.htm 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 http://www.devon.gov.uk/text/teignbridge_libraries has a small reference section with photocopies from local directories and other publications, and files of newspaper cuttings.
Ashburton Museum http://www.ashburton.org/museum.htm 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 http://www.stlawrencechapel.org.uk/ 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.
The Ashburton entries from Pigot's Directory of 1822-23 can be found here:
http://genuki.cs.ncl.ac.uk/DEV/Ashburton/AshburtonPigotPre1830.html - Accessed 15-01-2017
1861 census FreeCEN http://www.freecen.org.uk/
1881 census via Family Search https://familysearch.org/
1881 census via Find My Past http://www.findmypast.co.uk/
1881 census via The British Surnames website http://www.britishsurnames.co.uk/ Every surname in Ashburton recorded in the 1881 census
1891 census FreeCEN – http://www.freecen.org.uk/ (you can put 'Ashburton' under 'Civil parish')
Directories from http://specialcollections.le.ac.uk/cdm/landingpage/collection/p16445coll4:
Pigot & Co 1844
White's 1850 and 1878/79
Kelly's 1893, 1902, 1914
Names from Pigot's 1822-23 Directory can be found here http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/DEV/Ashburton/AshburtonPigotPre1830
White's 1850 directory is also available for free as a Google eBook. https://www.google.co.uk
Val Hender's transcription of Morris and Co.'s Commercial Directory and Gazetteer 1870 is here: http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~valhender/dirtrans/mor1870/ashburt.htm - Accessed 23-01-2017
NB I could not access this site in July 2018, so it may not still be available
Internet Archive https://archive.org/index.php
Kelly's Directory of Devon 1902 (Worth putting in other searches on this site)
World maps online http://www.oldmapsonline.org has several maps of the area from various time periods
A search for 'Ashburton' in the National Archives 'Discovery' pages - http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI brings up over a thousand results, which can be refined. Accessed 11-1-2014.
A search for 'Ashburton' in the catalogue of Devon Archives https://swheritage.org.uk/devon-archives/catalogues-and-indexes/ 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.
http://www.exeter-cathedral.org.uk/education/library-and-archives1/library-and-archives.ashx - Accessed 26-12-15
The Forebears website http://forebears.co.uk/england/devon/ashburton has links to many resources - some are paid sites, but many are free. Accessed 20-02-2015
The new Ashburton Digital Archive is now online. It currently holds all the memorial inscriptions for St. Andrew's Churchyard for 1956-1986
Go to http://www.ashburtonarchive.org.uk/- Accessed 16-1-2014
http://www.gravestonephotos.com/index.php 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.
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: https://new.devon.gov.uk/historicenvironment/tithe-map/ashburton/
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 http://www.genuki.org.uk/
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 http://genuki.cs.ncl.ac.uk/DEV/Ashburton/AshburtonBounties.html - Accessed 17-12-2014
The Devon Wills Index http://genuki.cs.ncl.ac.uk/DEV/DevonWillsProject/
Lindsey Withers transcription of Absconding Apprentices, as listed in Trewman's Exeter Flying Post: http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/DEV/Occupations/ParishApprentices - Accessed 18/10/2018
Inquests 1874-1909, contains many Ashburton entries - https://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/DEV/CourtRecords/InquestsESDA1874 - Accessed 09/03/2019
plus lots of pointers to other resources.
For blacksmith ancestors, try the Blacksmith's Index http://blacksmiths.mygenwebs.com/index.php 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 http://bookhistory.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/devon-imprints-ashburton.html - Accessed 23-08-2015
From Ancestry.com - the World Connect site http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/
A search by Database keyword "Ashburton" brings up:
"William Knott of Ashburton England and related families"
"Ashburton Yolland family" (as at December 2012)
Kay's Way http://www.kaysway.org/ashburton.htm has a list of Ashburton families from all dates including the 1700s. Accessed 04-08-2017
The will of Joanna Adams (nee Glanville) of Ashburton, 1840 can be found on Jay Glanville's site http://www.glanvillenet.info/default.htm (go to Wills via Dead docs)
See also the website featuring the Glanvill/Glanville family in Ashburton and in Maker and Rame in Cornwall http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~glanville/index.html - Accessed 31-12-2012
Rick Desmier has a detailed website on the Earle family. It can be found at http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~desmier/earle_family.html - 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 http://westawayfamily.co.uk/index.html 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 http://www.genealogy.com/ftm/g/r/e/Jim-Greenwood/index.html - Accessed 23-01-2017
The Begent family home pages have a section on the Smerdon family in Ashburton http://www.begent.org/
http://www.familyhistorydata.co.uk/fhd_triggs.html has entries about the Triggs family in Ashburton. Accessed 23-01-2017
The Devon Family History Society http://www.devonfhs.org.uk/ 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 http://www.foda.org.uk - Accessed 16-1-2014
They have also posted 18th century Freeholders Books, including several for Ashburton. http://www.foda.org.uk/freeholders/index/parishindex_a_k.htm - Accessed 23-01-2017