Recorded as Acland, Aclands, Ackland, Acklands, Auckland, Aukland and possibly Hawkland, this interesting surname is English. It is locational from places called Acland near Barnstaple in Devonshire, or Acklam, of which there are two examples in Yorkshire, or perhaps from a "lost" medieval village of Viking origins, which may have been called "Auk - landa" or similar, meaning the place of the sea birds. The place in Devonshire 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 have occupied the estate since 1275, the first family name holder being William de Ackelane. Amongst the early church recordings are the christening of Honor Ackland on January 3rd 1544, at Barnstaple, whilst in the city of London Anne Auckland married John Loveras at St James Clerkenwell, on October 10th 1585. 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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