Welcome to the new-look Ayling Story web site.

I have been contacted many times over the years by Aylings world-wide wanting information on their family lines. Unfortunately, I don’t have the answers.

With the addition of the ‘Ayling Forum’ and the ability to leave comments on pages, hopefully this site will now become a useful resource for those trying to trace their family lines.

Good luck!



A note to all – Please realise I do not monitor this web site nor respond to any ‘can you do’ or ‘do you know’ requests. I know nothing more than what is here for all to read.
I have merely posted this information as a resource for other people to use. If you need to contact other like-minded Aylings or ask questions, please use the forum to do so.

About the author

Phil Ayling administrator

26 Comments so far

Rachel AylingPosted on12:04 pm - Aug 25, 2013

I have been doing quite a lot more primary research, and can add to Kenneth Ayling’s account. For example, I have written down all the Stedham parish records for “Ayling” and have obtained some Wills, including that of Mabell Ayling dd 1655, and John Ayling dd 1571. I don’t think it’s possible to upload information onto this site but I would be willing to send it to people.

    PhilPosted on4:36 pm - Aug 27, 2013

    Hi Rachel

    You can certainly post it on the forum if you wish.

      Terry AylingPosted on7:39 pm - Jan 17, 2014

      Hi Phil
      Is it possible to make contact with Rachel who left the message regarding the research she has done on the Aylings at Stedham as I would be very interested in seeing what she has discovered.

      Terry Ayling

    Terry AylingPosted on7:22 pm - Jan 15, 2014

    Hi Rachel
    I would be very interested in see the research you have done. I am directly related to Aylings living in Stedham in the 1500’s


    Terry Ayling

    johnPosted on7:02 pm - Jun 13, 2014

    please update me

      Chris AylingPosted on6:04 am - Aug 14, 2014

      I previously transcribed Mabell (Gray) Ayling’s Will on my ancestry tree. I also have Wills for Thomas (1725), Thomas (1689), William (1649), Nicholas IV & Nicholas III –alll mentioned in Kenneth Ayling’s book. I appesr to be a descendant of John Ayling (1478).

      Rachel, not sure where John (DIed 1571) fits on my line. I’d like to learn more.

      Phil is it possible for you to pass along my e-mail to Rachel & Terry? I’d love to sort out how we may be related. Thanks!

      Chris Ayling

      Richard AylingPosted on2:38 pm - Aug 25, 2014

      Please contact me. We are putting together a large “Ayling Family Tree” on ancestry.co.uk any information that we can exchange would be useful. All best Richard Ayling

mikkee1Posted on2:36 pm - Nov 15, 2013

Hi all,

I’ve just started researching and I’ve reached back to the marriage of James Ayling (born 1840) and Charlotte Whittington around 1870ish. They were in the Felpham/South Berstead area. Can anyone help me go up the tree from there?


Mike Ayling (Canada)

Chris AylingPosted on12:43 am - Nov 16, 2013

How do I log in?

PhilPosted on9:56 am - Nov 17, 2013

Use the button top right to register.

peter aylingPosted on9:43 pm - Jan 7, 2014

Very interesting I lived in lancing for many years now in canada

Peter AylingPosted on7:58 am - May 11, 2014

My mother came from Lancing, my father came from Petworth, we lived in Worthing until 1960 when the family moved to Australia.

Chris AylingPosted on7:40 pm - Aug 13, 2014

Hi Phil. Do you know anyone who was associated with the Ayling registry (no longer in existence) or any avenue I might pursue to find out more? I ask because my paternal ancestors are mentioned in Kenneth’s book (Thomas from Stedham, 1689, and up from there). I did find a post on ancestry.com that might reference the registry as well. Let me know. Thanks.


Chris AylingPosted on5:41 am - Aug 14, 2014

For anyone interested in West Sussex Aylings, I have my tree back to John Ayling 1478. There are almost 1000 people on the tree with good documentation to support choices. I am in contact with a number of present day Aylings as a result of contacts made there. You can message me to view my private tree under “Ayling Tree Sussex UK to Canada” at ancestry.com. I also posted the baptism, marriage and burial records for 13 West Sussex Parishes. Search under the Ayling surname in the “collaborate-message boards” section at ancestry.com to find them. They are primarily in the north/west section of West Sussex.

PhilPosted on11:36 am - Aug 16, 2014

A note to all – Please realise I do not monitor this web site nor respond to any ‘can you do’ or ‘do you know’ requests. I know nothing more than what is here for all to read.
I have merely posted this information as a resource for other people to use. If you need to contact other like-minded Aylings or ask questions, please use the forum to do so.

Good luck!

Chris AylingPosted on5:41 pm - Aug 16, 2014

Thanks, Phil. Understood per your previous messages about the limits of your involvement. The challenge is that one isn’t notified (as far as I can tell) when someone replies to a post (sometimes months or years later). How would one contact other like minded Aylings in this scenario? Only you have the e-mail address of each poster for privacy reasons. Could you possibly pass along my e-mail to the above posters requesting contact? After all, it’s not like there are many postings… 🙂

Chris AyingPosted on6:30 pm - Sep 21, 2014

Kenneth states that William (B. 1649) is the son of Nicholas (1593-1670). However, in Nicholas’ Last Will & Testament, written in 1665 and through probate in 1670, he refers to his son William AND “the son of my son William”. Clearly this is not possible because William (B.1649) would have been 16 years old –too young to be married and certainly too young to have a child. While the Stedham records do show a father and mother, Nicholas & Elizabeth to a William Ayling (B.1649), it can’t be the same Nicholas 1593-1670.

Finally, a search of FamilySearch.org returns a William 1649 who died August 1653.

William Ayling
England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975
Name: William Ayling
Gender: Male
Christening Date: 11 Sep 1649
Death Date: 06 Aug 1653
Father’s Name: Nicolas Ayling
Indexing Project (Batch) Number: C07116-1 , System Origin: England-ODM , GS Film number: 0416738, 0416750, 416755, 918459

Citing this Record

“England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/J3XZ-YJF : accessed 03 Sep 2014), William Ayling, 11 Sep 1649; citing , reference ; FHL microfilm 0416738, 0416750, 416755, 918459.

So the line up from Thomas 1689 as highlighted in The Ayling Story is wrong.

Further, while there is no baptism record for Thomas in Woolbeding or Stedham parishes, Kenneth likely came up with DOB 1689 from Thomas headstone which states:

in memory of THOMAS AYLING who died 5th of December 1759 aged 70 years

Only two baptism returns for Thomas Ayllinge. The one for March 1688 (17th century calender dating) in Easebourne may be correct as closet parish. Interestingly, father to this Thomas was a Thomas. A further search of Thomas around 1660 (i.e. the likely age range to have a child in 1689) turns up some in Woolbeding and Stedham. So it could be that Thomas 1689 does eventually link back to the line highlighted by Kenneth Ayling.

Chris AylingPosted on12:18 am - Oct 31, 2014

An postscript to my previous past about Thomas (B. 1689) and William (D. 1724) Ayling.

At St. James Church in Stedham we have four headstones lined up beside each other and set apart from other headstone groupings (see the photo on my tree under Thomas 1689). The headstones are Thomas, wife Mary, William (D. 1733) and Margaret (D. 1736). I suspect Kenneth Ayling believed this headstone placement meant they were related.

William’s (D.1724) Last Will & Testament when compared to Margaret’s Will both list the same children. So William (d.1724) and Margaret are husband and wife. Therefore, we are looking at Thomas, his wife, his brother William, and his mother Margaret. Taken together I think this is proof that Thomas’ father was William (D. 1724). William’s headstone is not part of this grouping. He is likely buried with a previous spouse/siblings or parents –perhaps with a Nicholas Ayling. This would be a further line of inquiry to pursue to confirm, if possible.

In regard to William (D. 1724) it appears Kenneth left out one generation between him and Nicholas (1593-1670). In fact there are two family groupings in the Woolbeding parish records which give us the correct line up. William was born in 1654. His father was William (B. 1630), mother Ann. William Sr.’s father was Nicholas (1593-1670). The dates make more sense both in terms of birth generations but are also consistent with Nicholas’ Will which refers to a son and grandson William, as well as a youngest daughter of William named Joane (B. 1666).

There is also a Stedham 1729 land lease agreement where Thomas, Margaret (widow), William and William Jr. are listed together as land owners (see a transcription of the document under Thomas on my tree).

On another note, I did manage to track down Terry, Rachel and Richard Ayling (previous posters listed above), and we are now working on confirming the lines from Nicholas (B. 1562) up. Anyone interested can view the progress on my tree.

Chris Ayling
Cranbrook, BC Canada

ayling1Posted on10:34 pm - Dec 14, 2014

Many Ayling source materials now posted to The Ayling Forum. Log in and check it out. Replies to posts in the forum do generate e-mails to the original poster.


Chris AylingPosted on1:57 am - Jul 28, 2015

I have now posted an in-depth re-examination of The Ayling Story here:


This includes corrections for errors and links to all the references made in the story for the family line Kenneth highlights in the story.

You can view my updated family tree, which goes back to the 1400’s, here:


I am providing continual research updates here: http://boards.ancestry.com/surnames.ayling/mb.ashx.

If you are on ancestry.com, please message me via “mikkee69” if you have further information that might be useful or have noted errors.


Chris Ayling
Cranbrook, BC, Canada

Chris AylingPosted on3:57 am - Jun 1, 2016

New Facebook page called “Ayling Family History” set up. Check it out!

Chris AylingPosted on4:54 pm - May 4, 2019

Hi Philip. Not sure if you are reading these comments or not, but I thought you might be interested to know that we appear to be fourth cousins. I have been compiling Hampshire parish records (I’ve completed all of West Sussex and West Surrey), and that’s how I arrived at this conclusion. Our shared ancestor would appear to be John Ayling (1804-1890) of East Dean, West Sussex.

To date, we have done YDNA testing on fourteen Ayling men, including two others on this specific branch of our larger Ayling tree, confirming we share a male ancestor in Thomas Ayling (1738-1820) of Graffham (John’s grandfather). Comparing YDNA with ten of us predicts a shared ancestor in the mid 1500’s. His descendants spread out to where our respective earliest confirmed ancestors resided: Stedham, Lodsworth, Woolavington, Graffham, South Stoke, Houghton, Funtington, Houghton and Iping. I suspect our shared ancestor was living in the Easebourne area.

See https://www.familytreedna.com/groups/ayling-surname/about/background

It would be great if you were interested in joining us.

Chris Ayling

AlanPosted on4:17 pm - Jan 11, 2021

Phil, I don’t know if you are reading this, but I have an ayling domain that would make a good home for this website and make it easier to find. I can donate it if that is of interest.
Kind regards,
p.s. I’m also not monitoring the website, so if you can respond to the email address in my records, that will help, thanks.

Chris AylingPosted on6:22 pm - May 24, 2021

See aylinghistory.net for on-going research into the Ayling and Aylwin surname.

On this site you will find a work by J.B. Donnington called “Ayling Family Records”, written in 1971. It appears Kenneth may have been the person who commissioned Donnington’s work. I say this because when you read Donnington’s work and Kenneth’s “The Ayling Story”, you can see that the latter borrowed heavily from the former. It seems Kenneth’s main effort was to put Donnington’s work into a more readable “story” format, and set within the historical context. He also undertook extensive efforts to reach out to Ayling families all over the world, attempting to figure out ancestral lines.

I have “picked up the torch” from Kenneth 30 years later, and have largely completed his work.

I will add that recent YDNA testing of eleven Ayling men, including two descendants of the Stedham group highlighted in “The Ayling Story”, confirms we all descendants of the same man. One of the two testers descends from the Aylings of Ash House in Stedham. As such, he has a well-researched pedigree back to John Aylyng (D. 1511), deceased at Bramshott, Hampshire. This is the fellow Kenneth mentions in a land transaction for Buddington Manor. It appears John Aylyng (D. 1511) is indeed our ancestor-in-common –perhaps the ancestor of all Ayling men alive today. The Stedham men descend from John Aylyng (D. 1546), residing at Terwick at his death. The other nine men descend from his son Richard Aylyng (D. 1545) of Woolbeding –specifically, via his own son John Ayling (D. 1583) of Selham.

For the ability to ask and have answered questions about Ayling/Aylwin ancestry, see https://www.facebook.com/aylingandaylwinfamilyhistory. There are over 200 Ayling/Aylwin descendants on the site who shared and connect.

Cheers, cousins.

Chris Ayling, Canada

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