Show ContentsAtkan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient history of the Atkan name begins with the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the family resided the personal name Adam. Atkan is a diminutive which means son of Adam. [1] [2] [3]

"There is no need of course to prove this, but it is interesting to note the following: 'Adam le Fullere,' a citizen of London, is twice referred to as Adekin le Fullere (1073, Hundred Rolls)." [4]

Early Origins of the Atkan family

The surname Atkan was first found in Norfolk where the name first appeared as a forename: Adekin filius Turst, in the Pipe Rolls of 1191. Later records show John Adekyn in Crowland, Cambridgeshire in 1296; William Atkyns in the Subsidy Rolls in Worcestershire in 1327; and John Adekynes in the Subsidy Rolls for Warwickshire in 1332. [3]

We find the first records of the family using the "E" prefix in Oxfordshire where Edekin Gomey was listed in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1279. The same rolls also included an entry for Joan Edekin. Elena Edyknes was listed in the Subsidy Rolls for Somerset in 1327. [3]

Norfolk records show Geoffrey Adekyn there 10 Richard II (during the tenth year of Kind Richard II's reign.) [5] Again in Somerset, we found William Adekyn, 1 Edward III. [6]

"Though not of early introduction it became well established in Ireland in the seventeenth century, especially in Cork where the Atkins family, who had come from Somerset, were prominent in the commercial life of the city; they also established themselves in the Youghal area." [7]

"Atkins, Adkins. - A characteristic surname of the midland and eastern counties, being at present most relatively numerous in Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, and Lincolnshire. Its place is taken in the north of England by Atkinson. These names are regarded as diminutives of Adam." [8]

Early History of the Atkan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Atkan research. Another 133 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1191, 1296, 1379, 1621, 1680, 1709, 1718, 1559, 1581, 1558, 1635, 1558, 1601, 1681, 1626, 1685, 1662, 1615, 1677, 1587, 1669, 1630, 1698, 1686, 1689, 1647, 1711, 1610, 1703, 1665, 1670, 1674, 1680 and 1564 are included under the topic Early Atkan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Atkan Spelling Variations

Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Atkan include Adkin, Atkin, Atkins, Adekin, Adekyns, Adekyn, Adkins and many more.

Early Notables of the Atkan family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Richard Atkins (1559?-1581), English martyr, born at Ross in Herefordshire; Henry Atkins (1558-1635), English physician, born in 1558, son of Richard Atkins of Great Berkhamstead, Hertfordshire; William Atkins (1601-1681), an English Jesuit; Robert Adkins (1626-1685), English ejected minister of 1662 from Chard, Somerset; Richard Atkyns (1615-1677), an English writer and printer from Gloucestershire; Sir Edward Atkyns...
Another 62 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Atkan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Atkan family to Ireland

Some of the Atkan family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 78 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Atkan family

Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Atkan or a variant listed above: Sir Jonathon Atkins who was Governor of Barbados in 1663; Henry Atkins settled in Plymouth in 1641; Thomas Adkins settled in East Hartford in 1682.



The Atkan 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: Vincit cum legibus arma
Motto Translation: He wins over violence with laws


  1. Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. Dixon, Bernard Homer, Surnames. London: John Wilson and son, 1857. Print
  3. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. Rye, Walter, A History of Norfolk. London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, 1885. Print
  6. Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  7. MacLysaght, Edward, Supplement to Irish Families. Baltimore: Genealogical Book Company, 1964. Print.
  8. Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.


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