This surname AKER 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. 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 names introduced into Britain by the Normans during and in the wake of the Invasion of 1066, are nearly all territorial in origin. The followers of William the Conqueror were a pretty mixed lot, and while some of them brought the names of their castles and villages in Normandy with them, many were adventurers of different nationalities attached to William's standard by the hope of plunder, and possessing no family or territorial names of their own. Those of them who acquired lands in England were called by their manors, while others took the name of the offices they held or the military titles given to them, and sometimes, a younger son of a Norman landowner, on receiving a grant of land in his new home dropped his paternal name and adopted that of his newly acquired property.
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.
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