This surname was of the baptismal group of surnames 'the son of Adam' Johannes filius Ade, was recorded in County Berwick in Scotland, and appears to be the first of the name on record. William Acheson was recorded in 1408, and John Achkinson was the burgess of Aberdeen in the year 1437. Patrick Atzensone was a notary public in Jedworth circa, 1500. A family of this name was long connected with the Scottish Mint in the 15th and 16th centuries. The name has numerous spellings which include Achenson, Achieson, Achesoun and Achinson. During the Middle Ages, when people were unable to read or write signs were needed for all visual identification. For several centuries city streets in Britain were filled with signs of all kinds, public houses, tradesmen and even private householders found them necessary. This was an age when there were no numbered houses, and an address was a descriptive phrase that made use of a convenient landmark. At this time, coat of arms came into being, for the practical reason that men went into battle heavily armed and were difficult to recognise. It became the custom for them to adorn their helmets with distinctive crests, and to paint their shields with animals and the like. Coats of arms accompanied the development of surnames, becoming hereditary in the same way.
The associated coat of arms is recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
An eminent member of the name was Dean Gooderham Acheson (1893-1971) an American statesman and lawyer closely involved with the Marshall Aid plan for Europe and the formation of NATO. He was educated at Yale and Harvard and jointed the department of state in 1941. He formulated the Truman Doctrine in 1947, and wrote 'Present at the Creation' in 1969, for which he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize.
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