Dorothy Ashton

From the list of elephant persons Family: Ashton

Dorothy Ashton
Profession circus animal trainer
Personal details
Born 1896 Young, NSW in Australia
Dead ? in United States

Spouse(s) Jack Hay

Country Australia

Work locations
Title animal trainer -
Location at Ashtons Circus in Australia

Relevant literature
Biography details

Dorothy "Dossie" Ashton , circus animal trainer in Australia

Born 1896 in Australia dead ? in United States , daughter of director Fred Ashton .

Dorothy, or Dossie as she was better known, was a bareback rider, a daughter of Fred Ashton and married to Albert Edward Hay, born 1903. During the Great Depression in the early 1930s, the Hays and their children left the Ashton circus to develop their own acrobatic act. They adopted their mother's famous name of Ashton for professional purposes and they became The Seven Ashtons.

Jack was a Trumpet player in the Ashton circus band.
During the Depression in the 1930s, things were so hard that Jack used to supplement his meagre circus bandsman's wage by making tin dishes, pots and pans to sell to farmers. Their only taste of meat was the occasional rabbit he caught. With no money but plenty of "stock" (in the form of eight children), the Hays decided to leave the Ashton circus and develop their own acrobatic act. At Lithgow, they lived in a tent while Jack made a few shillings from busking in the streets and chopping wood. Having moved around so much, Dossie had never heard of child endowment, but when she did, collected £60 accumulated in her favour. The family's improved financial position enabled them to move down to Sydney where they took a little house in Newtown. In the backyard, the children practiced spinning brooms with their Feet and balancing an old armchair. Soon they progressed to a stage performance where one artist, after a series of somersaults in mid-air, landed on the upturned Feet of another. Although their family name was "Hay", they used their mother's famous name of Ashton for professional purposes.
Seven of the eight children became the Seven Ashtons.


Total: 7 children

  1. Born: . Dead: † 1985 Micky Ashton-Hay
  2. Born: . Neville Ashton-Hay
  3. Born: . Douglas Ashton
  4. Born: . Stanley Ashton
  5. Born: . Goldie Ashton
  6. Born: . Jackie Ashton
  7. Born: . Gloria Ashton


Siblings through the father Fred Ashton (1866-09-28-1941-02-17):

  1. Joseph Ashton
  2. Vincent Ashton

Dorothy Ashton s ancestral Ahnentafel:


Dorothy Ashton
Born: 1896

Frederick Ashton

Born: 1866-09-28

Paternal Grandfather:
James Ashton

Born: 1820
Paternal Great-grandfather:
Paternal Great-grandmother:
Paternal Grandmother:
Elizabeth Critchley

Born: ?
Paternal Great-grandfather::
Paternal Great-grandmother:



Maternal Grandfather:

Maternal Great-grandfather:
Maternal Great-grandmother:
Maternal Grandmother:

Maternal Great-grandfather:
Maternal Great-grandmother:

Reference list


Koehl, Dan, (2023). animal trainer Dorothy "Dossie" Ashton in Australia. Elephant Encyclopedia, available online retrieved 27 September 2023 at (archived at the Wayback machine)

Sources used for this article is among others:

Selected publications

Links about Gloria Ashton

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Categories animal trainer | circus | Ashtons Circus | Ashton family | Born 1896 | Dead ? | People from Australia

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