Select Nash Miscellany

Here are some Nash stories and accounts over the years:

Richard Nash from Pembrokeshire

The Nashes were a Welsh gentry family.  Their arms portray a black shield with a silver chevron, three running greyhounds, and three green ash branches.  Surprisingly, the arms are often shown without the three ash branches, as in the drawing made for the souvenir coaster made in Wales.

Richard Nash was descended from a second son who did not inherit the family estate of Great Nash in Llangwm pariish in Pembrokeshire.  Like his father he made his own way in London.  There is no evidence that he finished his training as a lawyer, as his father had done.  But he plied his own cases before the Court of Chancery in London.  He also sailed on a merchant ship with Sir Francis Drake on the famous but disastrous campaign in Portugal in 1589.

Numerous other references were found by Derek Williams to Richard's work as a mercer, his service in the government of Camarthen, and even his troubled marital relations with his wife, who (he claimed) was alienated from him by the machinations of her brother.


I am told that the name Nash is also derived from a place called Naish situated near Bristol.   I live close to Bristol and my Naish ancestors came from this area.  There are several places with the word Naish in them, for instance Naish's Cross, Naish's Street, Naish Road, Naish Lane, and Naish House.

I think these were named after the family, rather than the family being named after them.  I always told the ash tree theory.  Also this is the only part of the world where people pronounce the name correctly, with a silent "i" without being told, which is another indication that the name originates in this area.

Thomas Nash in Stratford

Thomas Nash was the first husband of Shakespeare's granddaughter, Elizabeth Hall.  Nash's house, built beside New Place, is the house where Shakespeare retired and is the least impressive of the properties. However, while Shakespeare's New Place is long gone, Nash's house has survived.  It has the town's only general history exhibit.

Reader Feedback: Nashes in Ireland 

The name Nash was recorded in Ireland as early as the 13th century.  A John Nash was Sheriff of the city of Limerick in 1271, 1315, 1327, 1337 and 1342.   Nash is believed to be a name brought into County Limerick in the reign of King John.  Nash descendants are still to be found in West Limerick today.  

There were other Nashs who entered Ireland later at the time of the English plantation of Munster in the late 16th/early 17th century.  They were the Nashes who settled in county Cork which you referred to in your website.  

Patricia McKenna nee Nash (

Thomas Nash - Immigrant to New Haven

In July 1637, from the ship Hestor, a company landed in Boston, Massachusetts.  They were formed principally by merchants out of London whose wealth and standing at home had enabled them to come out under more favorable auspices than any company that had hitherto sought these shores.  In that company, as is supposed, came Thomas Nash with his wife and five children.  He was by occupation a gunsmith, a trade which admitted to an easy transition to that of blacksmith. 

Nine months later, in March 1638, the whole company sailed from Boston and in about a fortnight landed at a place called Cuinipac, now New Haven.

Thomas Nash was the only gunsmith in the New Haven colony.  He repaired fowling pieces and also mended clocks in his backyard shop.  His home lot, as shown in an old map of New Haven, was on the west side of State Steet, about a third of the way between Chapel and Elm Street.

He was generally mentioned in the records in an affectionate way as Brother Nash and, in his declining years, was occasionally appointed to undemanding public duties.  He died in May 1658.

Beau Nash in Bath

In 1704, Nash became master of ceremonies at the rising spa town of Bath, a position he retained until his death.  He lived in a house on Saw Close, now at the main entrance to the Theatre Royal, and kept a string of matrons.  He played a leading role in making Bath the most fashionable resort of 18th century England.

His position was unofficial, but nevertheless he had extensive influence in the city until 1761.  He would meet new arrivals in the city and judge whether they were suitable to join the select company of 500 to 600 people in the centre of Bath society; match ladies with appropriate dancing partners at each ball; pay the musicians at such events; broker marriages; escort unaccompanied wives; and regulate the gambling that went on.  

He was notable for encouraging a new informality in manners, breaking down the rigid barriers which had previously divided the nobility from the middle class patrons of Bath and even from the gentry.

Patriot Sons, Patriot Brothers

Patriot Sons, Patriot Brothers is the story of a Prince Edward County, Virginia family and two sons who became North Carolina heroes. 

Francis Nash (1742-1777) was a hero of the American Revolution, who gave his life for his country and his name to Nashville, Tennessee and various other Nashvilles elsewhere.  He died on a Pennsylvania battlefield at the age of 35 serving under George Washington while in command of 2,000 men.

Abner Nash (1740-1786) was the First Speaker of the North Carolina House of Commons, second patriot Governor of North Carolina, and member of the Second Continental Congress.  His contributions to the patriot cause during the early years of the revolution and during the southern campaign of 1780-1781 were no less significant than his brother's.

With thoroughly researched detailed notes, an extensive bibliography, and a text that is unparallel in its documentation of the correspondence of the Nash brothers with historical figures of the day, Patriot Sons, Patriot Brothers will be an invaluable addition to your American history collection.

Nash Casualties from Martley in the Great War

Richard and Edith Nash of The Noak in Martley had three sons, George, James and Slade.  All three of the boys went to School House at King's School in Worcester.  George and James went onto scholarships at Cambridge and Oxford.  However, the War broke out in 1914 and both young men enlisted.  Within a year they were both dead.

James was the first to fall in action, in April 1915 in the trenches near Ypres.  He was killed by a bullet fired from long range.  He was just 21 and was buried in the Kemmel military cemetery in Flanders.

Just two months later, George was seriously wounded during the battle at Hooge.  An operation was thought to have been successful but he later deteriorated.  His mother braved the dangers of trevelling abroad during the war and was with him when he died at the end of June, aged 24.  She brought his body back to Worcester and it was taken on a gun carriage first to The Noak and then to St. Peter's for the funeral service.

Later, the George Nash Divinity Prize and the James Nash Classical Prize were endowed in their honor, both for the fifth form pupils of King's School.

Nathaniel Cushing Nash

Nathaniel Cushing Nash, a Mayflower descendant on both sides of his family, was the fifth successive member of the family to bear this name ("I guess our family had trouble coming up with names," explained his father).  He was also the fourth generation of his family to attend the Noble and Greenough School in Dedham, Massachusetts.

A reporter on the New York Times, he was on board the plane carrying Commerce Secretary Ronald Brown which crashed into a Croatian mountain in 1996, killing all thirty five of its passengers.

Seated among the journalist's family and friends at his funeral service at the First Church in Wenham were some two dozen of his newspaper colleagues, including the Tmes' publisher Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr.


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