Ackroyd History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

In ancient Anglo-Saxon England, the ancestors of the Ackroyd surname lived in a clearing surrounded by oak trees. This Yorkshire surname is derived from the Old English words ac, which means oak, and rod, which means clearing. Collectively, the name literally means "dweller at the oak clearing."[1] [2]

Early Origins of the Ackroyd family

The surname Ackroyd was first found in the West, East and North Ridings of the county of Yorkshire. "A well-known Yorkshire surname." [3]

One of the first records of the family was Richard de Akerode who was listed in the Yorkshire Testamenta Eboracensia (Surtees Society.) [3]

Hugo Aikroide was listed as a Freeman of York in 1612 as was Henry Ackroyd in 1645, and Henry Akeroyd in 1648. [2]

A search through the Register of the University of Oxford revealed: John Acroyd, Yorkshire, 1612; Matthew Aickroid, Yorkshire, 1618; and Samuel Akeroyd, Yorkshire, 1619-1620.

The Eskrigge and Eskridge variants were found in the parish of Eskrigg in Lancashire.

Early History of the Ackroyd family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ackroyd research. Another 133 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1569, 1624, 1934, 1685, 1685, 1687, 1687, 1687, 1694, 1688, 1692, 1693, 1696, 1692, 1694 and 1696 are included under the topic Early Ackroyd History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ackroyd Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Ackroyd are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Ackroyd include: Ackroyd, Akroyd, Ackeroyd, Achroyd, Aykroyd, Akrood, Eckroyd, Ecroyd, Akrode, Eckridge and many more.

Early Notables of the Ackroyd family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include Samuel Akeroyde, a native of Yorkshire who was a very popular and prolific composer of songs in the latter part of the 17th century. Many of his compositions are contained in the following collections of the period: 'D'Urfey's...
Another 46 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ackroyd Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Ackroyd migration to the United States +

Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Ackroyd or a variant listed above:

Ackroyd Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Ackroyd who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1842
  • William Ackroyd who settled in Philadelphia in 1851
  • Reuden Ackroyd who also settled in Philadelphia in 1873

Australia Ackroyd migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Ackroyd Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Joseph Ackroyd, English convict who was convicted in York, Yorkshire, England for 15 years, transported aboard the "Earl Grey" on 4th October 1842, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [4]
  • Mr. Emanuel Ackroyd, English solider who was convicted in Devonport, Plymouth, England for life for striking an officer, transported aboard the "China" on 4th January 1846, arriving in Norfolk Island, Australia [5]
  • Mr. William Ackroyd, British Convict who was convicted in York, Yorkshire, England for 10 years for assault, transported aboard the "Dudbrook" on 17th November 1852, arriving in Western Australia [6]
  • William Ackroyd, aged 26, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1859 aboard the ship "North"

New Zealand Ackroyd migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Ackroyd Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Samuel Ackroyd, aged 26, a leather dresser, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Assaye" in 1874 [7]
  • Mr. Samuel Ackroyd, British settler travelling from London, UK aboard the ship "Assaye" arriving in Auckland, North Island, New Zealand on 26th December 1874 [7]
  • Mrs. Drucilla Ackroyd, British settler travelling from London, UK aboard the ship "Assaye" arriving in Auckland, North Island, New Zealand on 26th December 1874 [7]

Contemporary Notables of the name Ackroyd (post 1700) +

  • Joseph Ackroyd (1847-1915), American Democratic Party politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Oneida County 2nd District, 1884; Postmaster; Member of New York State Senate 36th District, 1907-08 [8]
  • David Ackroyd (b. 1940), American actor, best known for his roles on the soap operas The Secret Storm and Another World
  • Archibald Ackroyd (1897-1968), English cricketer
  • Norman Ackroyd CBE, RA (b. 1938), is an English artist based in Bermondsey, London
  • Sir Timothy John Robert Whyte Ackroyd (b. 1958), 3rd Baronet, an English actor
  • Barry Ackroyd BSC (b. 1954), English cinematographer
  • Peter Ackroyd CBE (b. 1949), English biographer, novelist, and critic, recipient of a Somerset Maugham Award and two Whitbread Awards
  • Rev. Peter Runham Ackroyd, American Historical Society President
  • Harold Ackroyd VC (1877-1917), English recipient of the Victoria Cross
  • Alfred Ackroyd (1858-1927), English cricketer
  • ... (Another 4 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Bradford City stadium fire
  • John Douglas Ackroyd (1952-1985), from Baildon who attended the Bradford City and Lincoln City Third Division match on 11th May 1985 when the Bradford City stadium fire occurred and he died in the fire
Frank Rock Slide
  • Mr. Charles Ackroyd, Canadian miner of Frank, Alberta who was buried in the Frank Rock Slide on 29th April 1903 [9]
  • Mrs. Nancy Ackroyd, Canadian resident of Frank, Alberta with 2 children who was buried in the Frank Rock Slide on 29th April 1903 [9]
RMS Lusitania
  • Master Frederick Ackroyd, American 2nd Class passenger from Brooklyn, New York, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [10]
  • Mrs. Hannah Ackroyd, (née Hardaker), American 2nd Class passenger from Brooklyn, New York, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [10]


The Ackroyd Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: In veritate victoria
Motto Translation: Victory in Truth.


  1. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 16th August 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/earl-gray
  5. ^ Convict Records of Australia (Retrieved 5th February 2021, retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/china)
  6. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 23rd July 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/dudbrook
  7. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  8. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, August 16) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  9. ^ Calgary Herald news article retrieved 11th August 2021. (Retrieved from https://smartcdn.prod.postmedia.digital/calgaryherald/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Calgary_Herald_Thu__Apr_30__1903_-copy-scaled.jpg).
  10. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 6) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/


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