This surname AKE was a locational name 'the dweller at the acre, or the plot of arable land'. The name was derived from the Old English word AECER, and there is a place West Acre in County Norfolk, from whence the name may also have arisen. The name is also spelt ACRE, ACRES, AKER, ACKER and ACKERS. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and denoted where he actually lived. Early records of the name mention William de Acr, 1224, County Sussex, and Adam de Acres appears in London in 1246. Bartholomew de Acre, bailiff of Norwich in 1282. Johannes Acrys of the County of Norwich, ibid. Walter de Acre of County Essex, was documented during the reign of Henry III (1216-1272). William de Acre of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. John Richard Acres was baptised at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in 1691. The name was taken early to Scotland, and Neuynus de Ackers, a native of Moray, appears to be the first of the name on record in the year 1364. The coat of arms was originally a practical matter, serving a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his face and body completely encased in armour, the only way for his followers to identify the knight was the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat. As early as the year 1100, it was quite common for English people to give French names to their children, and the earliest instances are found among the upper classes, both the clergy and the patrician families. The Norman-French names used were generally the names most commonly used by the Normans, who had introduced them into England during the Norman Invasion of William the Conqueror in 1066. Most of the European surnames were formed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The process had started somewhat earlier and had continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the tenth and eleventh centuries people did not have surnames, whereas by the fifteenth century most of the population had acquired a second name.
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