The surname of AKERLEY is a variant of the name Oakley and was a locational name 'of Oakley' the name of eleven parishes in England, including Ockley in Surrey. Local surnames, by far the largest group, derived from a place name where the man held land or from the place from which he had come, or where he actually lived. These local surnames were originally preceded by a preposition such as "de", "atte", "by" or "in". The names may derive from a manor held, from working in a religious dwelling or from literally living by a wood or marsh or by a stream. Following the Crusades in Europe a need was felt for a family name. This was recognized by those of noble blood, who realised the prestige and practical advantage it would add to their status. The name is also spelt ACLE, OCLE, ACKLE, OKELEU and ACKLEY. Early records of the name mention Ralph de Ackle, who was documented in the year 1273 in County Oxford, and John de Acle appears in Oxford in the year 1279. Thomas Ocle was sheriff of Norwich in 1415. Henry Acley, registered at Oxford University in the year 1571. William Smith married Elisabeth Okeley at St. Antholin, London in the year 1541. Henry Cannon and Mary Acly were wed in London in 1616. Benjamin Oakeley married Grace Hardisty at St. Michael, Cornhill, London in 1687. Henry Hughes and Betty Ackerley married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1769. The bulk of European surnames in countries such as England and France were formed in the 13th and 14th centuries. The process started earlier and continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the 11th century people did not have surnames, whereas by the 15th century they did. In the Middle Ages the Herald (old French herault) was an officer whose duty it was to proclaim war or peace, carry challenges to battle and messages between sovereigns; nowadays war or peace is still proclaimed by the heralds, but their chief duty as court functionaries is to superintend state ceremonies, such as coronations, installations, and to grant arms. Edward III (1327-1377) appointed two heraldic kings-at-arms for south and north, England in 1340. The English College of Heralds was incorporated by Richard III in 1483-84.
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