Aken History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Aken comes from the German region of Westphalia. The tradition of adopting hereditary surnames came to Germany after the 12th century, and the names of places where people lived were a primary source. Many local names carry the prefix "von", meaning "of" or "from," which was originally an indicator of land ownership, and is sometimes a mark of nobility. The Aken family originally lived in a German town named Aachen. There were numerous towns named Aachen in Arnsberg and Wiesbaden. There was also an ancient city named Aachen, which was originally called Aix-la-Chappelle by the French, and founded by the Romans. In the 8th century, Charlemagne built his palace at Aachen and the city became the place where numerous kings and emperors were coronated. It also became a center of culture and learning. Aken is a habitation name, which is one of the categories of surnames that were derived from place-names. Habitation names were derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.

Early Origins of the Aken family

The surname Aken was first found in Westphalia, where the name emerged in mediaeval times as one of the notable families of the region. From the 13th century the surname was identified with the great social and economic evolution which made this territory a landmark contributor to the development of the nation. The name originates from the ancient city of Aachen, named Aix-la-Chappelle by the French, which was founded by the Romans. Charlemagne, the Holy Roman Emperor, built his palace here in the 8th century, and the city was not only the place of coronation for many kings and emperors, but also a center of culture and learning.

Important Dates for the Aken family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Aken research. Another 99 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 181 and 1816 are included under the topic Early Aken History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Aken Spelling Variations

In the medieval era, many different cultural groups lived in the German states. There are thus many regional variations of German surnames from that era. Westphalians spoke Low German, which is similar to modern Dutch. Many German names carry suffixes that identify where they came from. Others have phrases attached that identify something about the original bearer. Other variations in German names resulted from the fact that medieval scribes worked without the aid of any spelling rules. The spelling variations of the name Aken include Aachen, Achen, Achenn, Aachner, Aachener, Aken and many more.

Early Notables of the Aken family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Aken Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Aken migration to the United States

For many Germans, emigration to North America was an inviting alternative to the trials of life in the old country. From the mid-17th into the present century, thousands of Germans migrated across the Atlantic. They capitalized on the chance to escape poverty and persecution, and to own their own land. After 1650, Germans settled throughout the states of Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Illinois, and California. Many also landed in Canada, settling in Ontario or father west on the rich land of the prairies. Among them:

Aken Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • David Aken, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1840 [1]

Contemporary Notables of the name Aken (post 1700)

  • William R. Van Aken (1912-1993), American Republican politician, Member of Ohio State House of Representatives, 1943-44, 1947-48; Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Ohio, 1960 [2]
  • William J. Van Aken, American politician, Mayor of Shaker Heights, Ohio, 1937 [2]

Citations

  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  2. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 10) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
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