An English surname derived from Adkin, which is mainly found in Ulster. The name was taken to Ireland by settlers. ATKINSON was a baptismal name 'the son of Adam'. Early records of the name mention Geoffrey Adekyn, 1273 County Norfolk. Willemus Adkynson of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Elizabeth Smith married John Adkinson, St. James's. Clerkenwell, London in 1709. George Handaye and Mary Atkinson were married at St. Michael, Cornhill, London in 1718.
Surnames before the Norman Conquest of 1066 were rare in England having been brought by the Normans when William the Conqueror invaded the shores. The practice spread to Scotland and Ireland by the 12th century, and in Wales they appeared as late as the 16th century. Most surnames can be traced to one of four sources, locational, from the occupation of the original bearer, nicknames or simply font names based on the first name of the parent being given as the second name to their child. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. Registered at Rehins and Ballylahan, County Mayo.
An eminent member of the name was Thomas Wittlam Atkinson (1799-1861) the English architect and travel writer, born in Cawthorne, Yorkshire. He became successively a quarryman, a stonemason and architect, then between 1848 and 1853 travelled some 40,000 miles in Asiatic Russia with his wife Lucy, painting and keeping journals which formed the basis of several works on that part of the world.
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