This page is dedicated to the history of the branch of the Ayton family from Gissing in South Norfolk.

Robert (I) Eighteen of 'Diss Heward' (presumably Heywood, north of Diss) married Hannah Langly of Banham on 31st March 1740 in Scole, just east of Diss. Their sons Robert (1741) and Charles (1742) were baptised in Tibenham, and their third son William (1750) in Great Moulton. Robert (II) and Hannah appear to have remained in Great Moulton, where they were buried in 1782 and 1784 respectively. It seems possible, given the proximity, that Robert (I) was a younger brother of John Ayton of Attleborough, and that the whole family links into the earlier Old Buckenham line, making Robert (III) Ayton and his wife second cousins. This said, recent DNA evidence suggests a slightly earlier link between the Gissing and Attleborough lines, so the precise nature of the connection remains open to review.

Robert (II) married Elizabeth Thorpe in Bergh Apton in 1769, at which time the couple both lived in Mulbarton, where they were granted settlement in 1770 (again, as 'Eighteen'). In fact, they moved back to Great Moulton, where they had nine known children including Robert (III, baptised 28 Nov 1784). The family appear to have moved to nearby Gissing, where Robert and Elizabeth were buried in 1819 and 1816 respectively.

Robert (III) Ayton, then 'of Burston' married Elizabeth Eighteen (Ayton) of Attleborough at Attleborough in 1807 before settling in Gissing and initiating a substantial line of descendants which spread to North Yorkshire and elsewhere. An outline of the top of the tree and the connections of the various researchers is attached.

It would appear that Robert (II)'s brother Charles married (again as 'Eighteen') Rachel (nee Buck) in nearby Shimpling (next to Burston) in 1772, going on to have several children in the area. It had originally been hypothesised that Robert (III) could have been Charles's son, but the more recent evidence above appears to provide a much more reliable alternative. There is however, an earlier burial reference for a Charles Ayton in Shelfhanger in 1771, which may suggest that there are still gaps in our understanding of the overall local family structure.

There is another local line springing from Charles Ayton (b. 1776 Rushall) which may also connect into this family (see provisional tree on Gissing page), and this is being investigated further (see interests page).


This page largely draws on a summary provided by George Ayton, which itself draws partly on the research of Brian and Noreen Ayton.


Anyone interested in further details of this branch of the Ayton family, or who is able to provide additional relevant material, is invited to contact the coordinator for this page Ian Hall.

This page was last updated 12 September 2012