Last name: Akast
This very unusual name is not apparently recorded in Britain before the early 19th Century in the period immediately following the Napoleonic Wars (1794-1815). It is possible that the name is a transposed form of the old English "Ac-hurst" (the oak wood), but the dating and make-up of the name strongly suggests an anglicized form of a Baltic name. It is our opinion based upon previous experience, that "Akast" derives from the Polish (Dauzig) "Akszak", and translates as "the son of Aks", the latter being the name of a 4th Century Saint, and itself translating as "to increase or magnify". There was much interchange of Merchant traders in this period, "British" homes in Russian or Polish variant spellings becoming common in the Baltic, however it is equally possible that the name is a variant of Akehurst, Ackhurst, and Akhurst, surnames associated with Sussex. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Charles Akast, which was dated March 12th 1820, a christening witness at St. George the Martyr, Southwark, during the reign of King George 111, "Farmer George", 1760 - 1820. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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