Arms: Ainsworth of Pleasington

The Ainsworth Family from Norman Times

The information on this page was obtained from the work of Mr. John Keelan, whose research on the Ainsworth family has been published by the Friends of Smithills Hall, in the booklet noted below. All those of Ainsworth ancestry are encouraged to send a donation to the Friends of Smithills Hall, whose work has enabled us to find out so much about our English origins.

The Ainsworth pedigree can be traced to Norman times. The earliest recorded person to use the surname Ainsworth was Robert of Ainsworth who was born in Ainsworth about 1170. He and subsequent Ainsworths were landed gentry, probably of Norman descent (as in William the Conqueror of 1066 fame).

In 1396 one of his descendants, John Ainsworth, married into a wealthy family from Blackburn (15 miles to the north) whose ancestors included Leofwin the Saxon Lord of Pleasington and Gamaliel its first Norman Lord. By this marriage, the manor of Pleasington (today an affluent suburb of Blackburn) became an Ainsworth holding.

The Ainsworth family held lands in Pleasington, Ainsworth and nearby Ashworth. The coat of arms belonging to this branch of the family (Ainsworth of Pleasington, shown above) bears three silver spades on a blue background. The schoolchildren in Ainsworth village still wear this coat of arms on their school uniforms.

Hopefully, the family did not branch out too much more than that before some time in the early 17th century when our ancestor emigrated to America, probably to grow cotton to sell back to his Lancashire family, where the Ainsworth family would soon build a successful trade bleaching cotton cloth.

Further information on the Ainsworth pedigree can be obtained in the booklet “The Ainsworth Family of Smithills Hall From Norman Times To The 17th Century”, published by the Friends of Smithills Hall, c/o 19 Leighton Avenue, Heaton, Bolton, Lancashire BL1 4EH. (£0.80 not including shipping)    How to send money to England