Recorded in several spelling forms including Ackerman, Acreman, Akerman and Akeman, this long-established surname is of pre 7th century Old English origin.It is or rather was, a status name for a bond tenant who was employed as a ploughman for a manor. The derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th Century "aecermann", a compound of "aecer", field, ploughed land, cognate with the Old Norse "akr", and "mann", man. On many medieval manors there were separate tenements held by "acremen" in return for ploughing service, and a quotation from "Lay le Freine" reads, "The foules up, and song on bough, And acremen yeld to the plough". Early examples of the surname include: Robert le Akerman (Essex, 1233); Roger le Acreman (Oxfordshire, 1273); and Hugh Akerman (Cambridgeshire, 1273). The "Historical English Dictionary", dated 1389, tells us that "both prestis and knightis mosten bicome acremen and heerdis". In the modern idiom the surname has four spelling variations: Ackerman(n), Akerman and Acreman. On August 15th 1568, Anna Ackerman and John Habet were married at St. Dionis Backchurch, London. A notable namebearer mentioned in the "National Biography" was Rudolph Ackermann who, in 1801, patented a method for making articles waterproof, and established art lithography in England (1817). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Acreman, which was dated 1100, in the "Chartulary of Ramsey Abbey", Huntingdonshire, during the reign of King Henry 1, known as "The Lion of Justice", 1100 - 1135. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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