Acten History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The Anglo-Saxon name Acten comes from when the family resided in the settlement of Axton, in the county of Kent.
Early Origins of the Acten family
The surname Acten was first found in Cheshire, Shropshire, and Worcestershire. Sometime before the Norman Conquest in 1066 they held a family seat at Ombersley in their mansion Castle known as Acton Hall, in Worcestershire. "Engelard de Acton, of Acton-Pigot and Acton-Burnell, was admitted on the Roll of Guild Merchants of Shrewsbury in 1209. His descendant Edward de Acton, of Aldenham, married the coheiress of L'Strange, living in 1387, and with her acquired an estate in Longnor, in the county. [Shropshire]" 
Aughton in Lancashire was an ancient family seat. " 'Achetun' was held before the Conquest by Uctred, the Saxon proprietor of Dalton and Skelmersdale; the manor, or parts of it, subsequently came to the families of Acton or Aughton." 
The parish of Acton-Round in Shropshire was another ancient family seat. "The church is a neat edifice, the walls of which are ornamented with monuments to the memory of the Actons, by one of whom, Sir Richard, the chancel was built in 1761." 
Another early listing of the name was John Acton (died 1350), an English canon lawyer known for his commentary on the ecclesiastical Constitutions of two papal legates: Cardinal Otto; and Ottobone.
Early History of the Acten family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Acten research. Another 95 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1600, 1305, 1597, 1600, 1659, 1621, 1665, 1660, 1650, 1716, 1689, 1705, 1684, 1685, 1677, 1731, 1727, 1728, 1662 and 1721 are included under the topic Early Acten History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Acten Spelling Variations
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. Acten has been recorded under many different variations, including Acton, Ackton, Akton and others.
Early Notables of the Acten family (pre 1700)
Notables of the family at this time include Sir John de Acton, High Sheriff of Herefordshire in 1305; John Acton, MP for Droitwich in 1597; Sir Edward Acton, 1st Baronet (1600-1659), English politician, High Sheriff of Shropshire, a Royalist in the English Civil War; Sir Walter Acton, 2nd Baronet (c 1621-1665), an English landowner and politician who sat in the House of...
Another 62 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Acten Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Acten family to Ireland
Some of the Acten family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Acten family
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 Acten or a variant listed above: Benjamin Acton who settled in Pennsylvania in 1683; James Acton settled in New England in 1718; John Acton settled in Virginia in 1642.
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The Acten 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: Vaillance avance l'homme
Motto Translation: Valour advances the man.
- ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.