Aikenhead History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Scottish history reveals Aikenhead was first used as a surname by the Strathclyde-Briton people. It was a name for someone who lived in a barony in Lanarkshire where one of the first records was dates to 1372, when Robert II granted the lands of "Akynheuide" in Lanark to John de Maxwell in 1372. Convallus de Akinhead was recorded as witness to another land grant in the same year. [1]

Early Origins of the Aikenhead family

The surname Aikenhead was first found in Lanarkshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Lannraig) at the barony of Aikenhead in the central Strathclyde region of Scotland, now divided into the Council Areas of North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire and the City of Glasgow. One of the first official references to the family was in 1296 when Gilbert de L'Akenheued of Lanark rendered homage to King Edward I of England. [1]

Early History of the Aikenhead family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Aikenhead research. Another 218 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1376, 1444, 1489, 1676, 1697, 1673, 1699, 1676 and 1697 are included under the topic Early Aikenhead History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Aikenhead Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that rules have developed and the process of spelling according to sound has been abandoned. Scottish names from before that time tend to appear under many different spelling variations. Aikenhead has been spelled Aikenhead, Akenhead, Akynhead, Akynheued, Aikkenhead, Achenhead and many more.

Early Notables of the Aikenhead family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was Thomas Aikenhead (c.1676-1697), a Scottish student from Edinburgh who was prosecuted and executed at the age of 20 on a charge of blasphemy; he was the last person in Britain to be executed for that charge. He was the son of an apothecary at Edinburgh and was described as 'not vicious and extremely studious.' "His religious opinions became unsettled by the perusal of 'some atheistical writers,'...
Another 73 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Aikenhead Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Aikenhead family

Unwelcome in their beloved homeland, many Scots sailed for the colonies of North America. There, they found land and freedom, and even the opportunity to make a new nation in the American War of Independence. These Scottish settlers played essential roles in the founding of the United States, and the shaping of contemporary North America. Among them: Elizabeth Achenhed who settled in Jamaica in 1774.


Contemporary Notables of the name Aikenhead (post 1700) +

  • Mary Aikenhead (1787-1858), Irish founder of the Roman Catholic religious order the Sisters of Charity, eldest daughter of Dr. David Aikenhead, of Cork, and was brought up a Protestant, like her father; but on his deathbed he was received into the church of Rome, to which his wife belonged, and soon afterwards Mary, when in her sixteenth year, became a Catholic [2]
  • William Aikenhead (1842-1902), Australian politician, Member of the Tasmanian House of Assembly for Latrobe (1898-1902)
  • Arlene Aikenhead, Canadian silver and bronze medalist Paralympic equestrian and national Boccia player from Alberta, Canada

Halifax Explosion
  • Mr. Nathaniel  Aikenhead (1871-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the Halifax Explosion (1917) [3]


The Aikenhead 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: Rupto robore nati
Motto Translation: We are born with weakened strength.


  1. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  2. ^ Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web.
  3. ^ Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/what-see-do/halifax-explosion/halifax-explosion-book-remembrance


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