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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

The roots of the Anglo-Saxon name Ackley come from when the family resided in a clearing surrounded by oak trees. The surname Ackley literally means oak-meadow. [1] The surname Ackley is associated with the village of Acle in Norfolk, and the village of Akeley in Buckinghamshire.


The surname Ackley was first found in Norfolk or Buckinghamshire. Of the two locations, Akeley (Akely) in Buckinghamshire seems to be the strongest place of origin for the surname. Located "in the union, hundred, and county of Buckingham, 2 miles (N. by E.) from the town of Buckingham," [2] Akeley has remained small over the years as by the late 1800s, it only had a population of 362. [2] However, the parish dates back to the Domesday Book of 1086 when it was first listed as Achelei. [3] Some of the family were found in Whitworth, Durham in early years. "According to the Boldon book, this manor was held by Thomas de Acley, by the service of a quarter of a knight's fee." [2]

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore, spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Ackley has been recorded under many different variations, including Ackley, Acley, Acle, Ackle, Aclie, Acklie, Acly and others.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ackley research. Another 589 words (42 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1273, 1500, 1610 and 1769 are included under the topic Early Ackley History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Ackley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Ackley or a variant listed above:

Ackley Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Nicholas Ackley sailed to Connecticut in 1655
  • Nicholas Ackley, who arrived in Connecticut in 1655
  • William Ackley landed in Virginia in 1664
  • Wm Ackley, who landed in Virginia in 1664

Ackley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Mr. Ackley, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851


  • Stephen F. Ackley, American sea sea ice specialist at McMurdo Sound (1976-1977), eponym of Ackley Point, Antarctica
  • Bentley DeForest Ackley (1872-1958), American musician and gospel composer
  • Florian Frederick "Fritz" Ackley (1937-2002), American Major League Baseball pitcher for the Chicago White Sox
  • Parker Otto "P.O." Ackley (1903-1989), American gunsmith, author, columnist who developed the Ackley Improved family of wildcat cartridges
  • Brian Ackley (b. 1986), American soccer player
  • Dustin Michael Ackley (b. 1988), American Major League Baseball second baseman with the Seattle Mariners
  • Gardner Ackley (1915-1998), American educator and diplomat, Fulbright Scholar, Ford Foundation Fellowship recipient, Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1968)


  • The Eckler-Ackler-Ackley Family by Ross A. Eckler.
  • Dewitt Clinton Ackley, Clarissa Woodworth Ackley: Their Ancestors and Descendants by Buel Clifford Ackley.

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  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)

Other References

  1. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  2. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  3. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  4. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  5. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  6. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  7. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  8. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  9. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  10. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  11. ...

The Ackley Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Ackley Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 2 March 2016 at 09:29.

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