Acheson (surname)

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Region of origin England, Scotland, Ulster
Language(s) Anglo-Scottish, Norman
Meaning Adam ("red earth")
Other names
Variant(s) Atkinson, Aitchison, Aicheson, and Aitcheson, Adcock, Atcock
Footnotes: Frequency Comparisons[1]

Acheson is a surname of Anglo-Scots origin with Norman antecedents. It derives from the pet name Atkin, which is a diminutive of Adam.[2]

In Scotland the name is more usually rendered as Acheson, while it is more usually found rendered as Atkinson in England, where it is particularly common in the north. In Ireland the name is common only in Ulster and particularly in counties Antrim and Down.[3] A different spelling emerged in Canada, as Atcheson. Some Atkinsons are descended from Planters, although the name was recorded in Ireland before that period.[4]

Acheson is a variation of the name in Scotland and the Border region, having been originally spelled Atzinson (with the 'z' being pronounced as 'y', as in yet).[4]



  1. ^ Acheson Surname at Forebears
  2. ^ Hanks, P. (2003). Dictionary of American Family Names: 3-Volume Set. Oxford University Press, USA. p. 8. ISBN 978-0-19-508137-4. Retrieved 3 September 2018.
  3. ^ Hanks, P.; Coates, R.; McClure, P. (2016). The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland. OUP Oxford. p. 8–9. ISBN 978-0-19-252747-9. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  4. ^ a b Bell, Robert (1990) [1988]. The Book of Ulster Surnames (Paperback). Belfast: The Blackstaff Press Limited. ISBN 0-85640-405-5.