Nestled between the Rhine and Wesser rivers is the ancient German region of Westphalia
, the home of the name Achen. When hereditary surnames
were adopted in this region, after the 12th century, names that were derived from localities were quite common. These "local" surnames originally denoted the proprietorship of the village or estate. When coupled with the German preposition von, which means from or of, local
names can indicate that the initial bearer of the name was an aristocrat. However, in modern times, the use of the preposition has often long since been dropped from use. The Achen 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. Achen 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 Achen family
The surname Achen 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
, 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.
Early History of the Achen family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Achen research.Another 99 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 181 and 1816 are included under the topic Early Achen History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Achen Spelling Variations
One can encounter great variation in the spelling of surnames: in early times, spelling in general, and thus the spelling of names was not yet standardized; and later, spellings would change with branching and movement of families. Variations of the name Achen include Aachen, Achen, Achenn, Aachner, Aachener, Aken and many more.
Early Notables of the Achen family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Achen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Achen family to the New World and Oceana
Many Germans emigrated across the Atlantic to seek better lives in North America. This great migration began in the middle of the 17th century and continued into the 20th century. Resettlement was particularly attractive to those from Westphalia
as a means of escape from poverty and religious persecution. For many Westphalian
farmers, the chance to own one's own land was also a major incentive. The process of the widespread colonization of the United States began in 1650, when many immigrants from Germany
settled in pockets in Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Illinois, and California. In Canada, German settlements centered around Ontario and the Prairie provinces. Among them:
Achen Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- Johann Heinrich Achen, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1773
Achen Family Crest Products