Atken History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Atken is of Anglo-Saxon origin and came from when a family lived the personal name Adam. Atken is a diminutive which means son of Adam.

Early Origins of the Atken family

The surname Atken was first found in Westmorland and Northumberland where they held a family seat from ancient times, before the Norman Conquest of England in 1066.

Early History of the Atken family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Atken research. Another 92 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1191, 1296, 1379, 1621, 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 and 1680 are included under the topic Early Atken History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Atken Spelling Variations

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Atken family name include Adkin, Atkin, Atkins, Adekin, Adekyns, Adekyn, Adkins and many more.

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

Ireland Migration of the Atken family to Ireland

Some of the Atken family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 43 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


New Zealand Atken 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:

Atken Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. James Atken, British settler travelling from London, UK aboard the ship "Bride" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 21st June 1858 [1]
  • Mr. John Atken, (b. 1841), aged 23, British ploughman travelling from Gravesend, UK aboard the ship "British Empire" arriving in Lyttelton, South Island, New Zealand on 6th September 1864 [1]
  • Mrs. Margaret Atken, (b. 1847), aged 17, British settler travelling from Gravesend, UK aboard the ship "British Empire" arriving in Lyttelton, South Island, New Zealand on 6th September 1864 [1]


The Atken 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. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html


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