The toponym is derived from the Old English for "Hill overgrown with ash trees". The Domesday Book of 1086 records the village as the property of the Grenville family; it was called Assedune. The original name refers to the fact that in Saxon times this area was completely forested, and served as hunting land for the king.
Included in with the parish of Ashendon are the hamlets of Upper Pollicott and Lower Pollicott. The names of these hamlets derive from the Anglo Saxon Pol's Cottage.
In the less distant past, Ashendon was an entirely farming village and, at present, there is still much agricultural activity within the village. However, some of the farmhouses have been converted into private residences, the best example of this being Ashendon Farm and its barns. Although Ashendon is a small village, in comparison with many nearby Buckinghamshire villages, it has a pub, a recreational playing field, a church and a thriving social club.
One mile south-west of the village, near Lower Pollicott, on the Chiltern Main Line between and , is the site of the former Ashendon Junction, which was an elaborate flying junction engineered for a high-speed turnout on to the now-dismantled link to the now disused Great Central Main Line at Grendon Underwood Junction. In former times this route was used by express trains between London Marylebone, Leicester and Sheffield.
Birth, marriage and death certificates can now be ordered online from Buckinghamshire County Council. The full postal address is Buckinghamshire Register Office, County Hall, Walton Street, Aylesbury, HP20 1YU.
The Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies (County Hall, Walton Street, Aylesbury, HP20 1UU) holds
In Buckinghamshire, as with other counties in England and Wales, the location of offices where Births, Marriages and Deaths were registered has altered with other changes in local government. A list of the location of Registration Offices since civil registration began in 1837 has been prepared by GENUKI (Genealogy: United Kingdom and Ireland). The table also gives details of when each Registration Office was in existence. In the case of Buckinghamshire, the same registration offices were used for the censuses since 1851.
Nineteenth Century Local Administration
English Jurisdictions is a webpage provided by FamilySearch which analyses every ecclesiastical parish in England at the year 1851. It provides, with the aid of outline maps, the date at which parish records and bishops transcripts begin, non-conformist denominations with a chapel within the parish, the names of the jurisdictions in charge: county, civil registration district, probate court, diocese, rural deanery, poor law union, hundred, church province; and links to FamilySearch historical records, FamilySearch Catalog and the FamilySearch Wiki. Two limitations: only England, and at the year 1851.
During the 19th century two bodies, the Poor Law Union and the Sanitary District, had responsibility for governmental functions at a level immediately above that covered by the civil parish. In 1894 these were replace by Rural and Urban Districts. These were elected bodies, responsible for setting local property assessments and taxes as well as for carrying out their specified duties. Thses districts continued in operation until 1974. Urban districts for larger municipalities were called "Municipal Boroughs" and had additional powers and obligations.
Poor Law Unions, established nationally in 1834, combined parishes together for the purpose of providing relief for the needy who had no family support. This led to the building of '"union poorhouses" or "workhouses" funded by all the parishes in the union. The geographical boundaries established for the individual Poor Law Unions were employed again when Registration Districts were formed three years later. In 1875 Sanitary Districts were formed to provide services such as clean water supply, sewage systems, street cleaning, and the clearance of slum housing. These also tended to follow the same geographical boundaries, although there were local alterations caused by changes in population distribution.
Online Historical References