Recorded in some forty spellings of which the most popular in modern times are Auchinleck and Affleck, this is one of the ancient and honourable surnames of Scotland. It has two possible origins, both locational. It may originate from the barony of Auckinleck in the county of Ayrshire, or from the village of Affleck in the county of Angus. As to how these two origins became overlapping and fused is one of the many mysteries of surnames. However it would seem that many people whose name is spelt Auchinleck pronounce it as Affleck, although it is difficult to see how the reverse can apply! The original spelling and recording was that of Richard of Auchinlec, who was a juror on an inquest held by the sheriff of Lanark in the year 1263, whilst Nichol de Achithlege rendered homage to the Scottish government of John Balliol in 1296. Clearly over the years the name spelling has proved to be of some difficulty to the clerics, being recorded as Auunynlec in 1303 and Aghynlek in 1370. However Gaelic pronunciation has often proved difficult to reconcile with spelling, so it is not perhaps surprising that by 1450 the spelling was usually found as Auchinlek and Athelek. It is said the the Afflecks of Angus were honoury shield bearers to the earls of Crawford in 1470, whilst more recently in historical terms, one of the famous commanders in the Second World War (1939 - 1949) was Field Marshall Sir Claude Auckinleck.
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