Acton History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

The name Acton first arose amongst the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It is derived from their having lived in the settlement of Axton, in the county of Kent.

Early Origins of the Acton family

The surname Acton 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]" [1] 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." [2] 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." [2] 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.

Important Dates for the Acton family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Acton 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 Acton History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Acton Spelling Variations

One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Acton has appeared include Acton, Ackton, Akton and others.

Early Notables of the Acton 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 Acton Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Acton family to Ireland

Some of the Acton 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.

Acton migration to the United States

At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Acton arrived in North America very early:

Acton Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Acton, who settled in Virginia in 1642
  • Jon Acton, who arrived in Virginia in 1642 [3]
  • Richard Acton, who arrived in Maryland in 1651 [3]
  • Richard Acton, who landed in Maryland in 1658 [3]
  • Fran Acton, who landed in Virginia in 1658 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Acton Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • James Acton, who settled in New England in 1718
Acton Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Acton, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1854 [3]
  • Patrick Acton, who landed in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1887 [3]
  • John Acton, who landed in Washington County Pennsylvania in 1887 [3]

Acton migration to Canada

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Acton Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Acton, aged 26 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Erin's Queen" departing from the port of Liverpool, England but died on Grosse Isle in August 1847 [4]
  • Mrs. Mary Acton, aged 23 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Erin's Queen" departing from the port of Liverpool, England but died on Grosse Isle in July 1847 [4]

Acton 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:

Acton Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Edward Acton, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "New Era" in 1855

Contemporary Notables of the name Acton (post 1700)

  • Richard M. Acton, American politician, Member of New Jersey State Senate from Salem County, 1864-66 [5]
  • William N. Acton, American politician, Member of Illinois State Senate 22nd District, 1905-09 [5]
  • Richard D. Acton, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Ohio, 1996 [5]
  • Jonathan W. Acton, American Democrat politician, Mayor of Salem, New Jersey, 1885-97 [5]
  • John C. Acton, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Massachusetts, 1956, 1960 [5]
  • I. Oakford Acton, American Republican politician, Chair of Salem County Republican Party, 1927 [5]
  • Harvey H. Acton, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Illinois, 1952 [5]
  • Harry H. Acton, American politician, Socialist Labor Candidate for Governor of New Hampshire, 1896 [5]
  • Frank W. Acton, American politician, Member of Nebraska State House of Representatives, 1921 [5]
  • E. Ray Acton, American politician, Mayor of Homewood, Alabama, 1953-56 [5]
  • ... (Another 18 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Historic Events for the Acton family

HMS Hood
  • Mr. Percival C H Acton (b. 1918), English Able Seaman serving for the Royal Navy from Brighton, Sussex, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [6]

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Citations

  1. ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ 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)
  4. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 12)
  5. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, August 16) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  6. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
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