The associated coat of arms for this name are recorded in J.B Rietstaps Armorial General. Illustrated by V & H.V Rolland's. This Monumental work took 23 years to complete and 85,000 coats of Arms are included in this work. This surname of VAN ACKER is an English, German, Dutch and Ashkenazic Jewish topographic name for someone who lived by a plot of cultivated land. The name was derived from the Old German word ACKER (field, agriculture). Habitation names were originally acquired by the original bearer of the name, who, having lived by, at or near a place, would then take that name as a form of identification for himself and his family. When people lived close to the soil as they did in the Middle Ages, they were acutely conscious of every local variation in landscape and countryside. Every field or plot of land was identified in normal conversation by a descriptive term. If a man lived on or near a hill or mountain, or by a river or stream, forests and trees, he might receive the word as a family name. Almost every town, city or village in early times, has served to name many families. Dutchmen who have surnames from towns, cities or districts, are mostly distinguished by the prefix VAN. In the United States the use of capital and initial letters and spaces is optional with the particular family. The Dutch language is most closely related to Low German, and its surnames have been influenced both by German and French naming practices. The preposition 'van' is found especially with habitation names, and the 'de' mainly with nicknames. Other spellings of the name include AKER, ACCKERS, ACKERE, VAN AKEN, VAN DE AKKERE, VAN AKKEREN, AKERBERG, AKERBLOM, AKERLING and AKERSTEDT, to name but a few. A notable member of the name was the Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch (1450-1516) born Jerome VAN AAKEN. He took the name by which he is now known from the city of Hertogenbosch, where he was born. His family came originally from Aachen (now in Germany). Compared to other countries, Dutch heraldry is notably simpler, some of the shields bearing only a single charge. Generally speaking one helmet, one shield and one crest has been used, quartering is uncommon and mottoes are rare.
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