Recorded as Acland, Aclands, Ackland, and Acklands, this interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin. It is locational from places called Acland, near Barnstaple in Devonshire, and Acklam, of which there are two examples in Yorkshire. The place in Devonshire is Acland Barton in Landkey, which was formerly recorded as "Ackelane" in the 13th century. It is said to originate from the pre 7th century personal name "Acca", with "land", meaning an estate owned by Acca. This name derives from the Olde English word "ac", meaning oak, with its connotations of strength and reliability. Acklam in East and North Yorkshire are both recorded in the famous Domesday Book of 1086 as "Aclun" The Devonshire family of Acklands are also said to owe their surname to a grove of oaks near the seat of Ackland Barton. They have occupied the estate since 1275, the first family name holder being William de Ackelane. Among the early recordings in Devon are the christenings of Honor Ackland on January 3rd 1544, at Barnstaple, and of Henri Acklands on December 19th 1567 at St. Giles in the Wood. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert de Acland. This was dated 1257, in the "Cartulary of Oseney Abbey", Oxfordshire, during the reign of King Henry 111rd of England, 1216 - 1272. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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