The surname of AKED was a locational name 'at the oak-head' from residence thereby, the top or furthest reach of trees. The name is a variant of Akenhead. Local names usually denoted where a man held land. Early records of the name mention Gilbert de Lakenhead of Lanark, rendered homage for his lands in 1296. In 1327 the lands of Akynheuide in the sheriffdom of Lanark were confirmed to John de Maxwell by King Robert II. In the same year Convallus de Akinhead witnessed a grant of the lands of Auchmarr. Johannes de Aykehened, of Yorkshire, who was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379.
William de Akinhede was a notary public in Irvine in 1444. In 1489 remission was granted to three individuals named Akynhed who, with a number of others held the Castle of Dumbarton against the King. Between the 11th and 15th centuries, surnames were assumed in Europe, but were not in use in England or Scotland before the Norman Invasion of 1066. Those of gentler blood assumed second names at this time, but it was not until the reign of Edward III (1327-1377) that they became common practice amongst all people. The origin of badges and emblems, are traced to the earliest times, although, Heraldry, in fact, cannot be traced later than the 12th century, or at furthest the 11th century. At first armorial bearings were probably like surnames and assumed by each warrior at his free will and pleasure, his object being to distinguish himself from others. It has long been a matter of doubt when bearing Coats of Arms first became hereditary. It is known that in the reign of Henry V (1413-1422), a proclamation was issued, prohibiting the use of heraldic ensigns to all who could not show an original and valid right, except those 'who had borne arms at Agincourt'. The College of Arms (founded in 1483) is the Royal corporation of heralds who record proved pedigrees and grant armorial bearings.
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