Show ContentsAitkenhead History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient Scottish name Aitkenhead was first used by the Strathclyde-Briton people of the Scottish/English Borderlands. The original bearer of the name 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 Aitkenhead family

The surname Aitkenhead 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 Aitkenhead family

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

Aitkenhead Spelling Variations

Spelling and translation were hardly exact sciences in Medieval Scotland. Sound, rather than any set of rules, was the basis for spellings, so one name was often spelled different ways even within a single document. Spelling variations are thus an extremely common occurrence in Medieval Scottish names. Aitkenhead has been spelled Aikenhead, Akenhead, Akynhead, Akynheued, Aikkenhead, Achenhead and many more.

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

United States Aitkenhead migration to the United States +

Such hard times forced many to leave their homeland in search of opportunity across the Atlantic. Many of these families settled along the east coast of North America in communities that would become the backbones of the young nations of the United States and Canada. The ancestors of many of these families have rediscovered their roots in the 20th century through the establishment of Clan societies and other patriotic Scottish organizations. Among them:

Aitkenhead Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Miss Aitkenhead, who arrived in Perth Amboy, New Jersey in 1685 [2]

Canada Aitkenhead migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Aitkenhead Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • James Aitkenhead, who landed in Canada in 1821

New Zealand Aitkenhead 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:

Aitkenhead Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Andrew Aitkenhead, Scottish settler travelling from Clyde aboard the ship "Sir William Eyre" arriving in Bluff, Southland, South Island, New Zealand in April 1863 [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Aitkenhead (post 1700) +

  • Neil Aitkenhead, American FIDS geologist at Hope Bay(1959–1960), eponym of the Aitkenhead Glacier
  • Arthur Aitkenhead (1881-1949), American Republican politician, Mayor of Glen Cove, New York, 1944-47 [4]
  • Walter Campbell Allison Aitkenhead (1887-1966), Scottish footballer who played for Partick Thistle, Blackburn Rovers and the Scotland national team
  • John Marchbanks Aitkenhead (1910-1998), Scottish teacher and co-founder with his wife Morag McKinnon Aitkenhead of Kilquhanity School.
  • Jessica "Decca" Aitkenhead (b. 1971), British journalist and broadcaster from Wiltshire
  • Andrew "Andy" Aitkenhead (1904-1968), Canadian ice hockey goaltender for the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League between 1932 and 1934

The Aitkenhead 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. 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)
  3. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from
  4. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, February 2) . Retrieved from on Facebook