Attkenhead History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Attkenhead is an ancient Scottish name that was first used by the Strathclyde-Briton people of the Scottish/English Borderlands. It is 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 Attkenhead family

The surname Attkenhead 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 Attkenhead family

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

Attkenhead Spelling Variations

Prior to the first dictionaries, scribes spelled words according to sound. This, and the fact that Scottish names were repeatedly translated from Gaelic to English and back, contributed to the enormous number of spelling variations in Scottish names. Attkenhead has been spelled Aikenhead, Akenhead, Akynhead, Akynheued, Aikkenhead, Achenhead and many more.

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

Migration of the Attkenhead family

In such difficult times, the difficulties of raising the money to cross the Atlantic to North America did not seem so large compared to the problems of keeping a family together in Scotland. It was a journey well worth the cost, since it was rewarded with land and freedom the Scots could not find at home. The American War of Independence solidified that freedom, and many of those settlers went on to play important parts in the forging of a great nation. Among them: Elizabeth Achenhed who settled in Jamaica in 1774.



The Attkenhead 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)


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