What is the origin of the last name Atkinson?

The last name Atkinson originates from England and Scotland. It is derived from the personal name Atkin, a diminutive form of the name Adam, which itself is derived from the Hebrew name Adama, meaning "earth" or "red earth." Over time, the suffix -son was added, indicating "son of Atkin." The name Atkinson can be traced back to medieval times and has since spread across English-speaking countries, reflecting the migration and diaspora of individuals with this surname.

Countries of origin for the last name Atkinson

The last name Atkinson has origins in both England and Scotland. This surname is of patronymic origin, derived from the given name Atkin or Atkinson, which itself is a diminutive form of the name Adam. The name Adam is of biblical origin and means “man” or “earth.”

The earliest recorded instances of the surname Atkinson can be found in English and Scottish records from the 13th century. The variations in spelling and pronunciation over time include Atkynson, Adkinson, Atkison, and Adkison. This suggests regional and dialectal differences in the pronunciation and spelling of the surname.

The distribution of the surname Atkinson is widespread, with concentrations found in various parts of the United Kingdom, particularly in northern England and Scotland. However, it is also found in other English-speaking countries, including the United States, Canada, and Australia.

Historically, individuals with the surname Atkinson could be found in a variety of occupations, including agriculture, trade, and skilled crafts. It is also likely that some Atkinsons were involved in maritime activities due to their close proximity to coastal regions in England and Scotland. The occupation of the Atkinson family would have depended on factors such as geographical location, social status, and economic opportunities available at the time.

As with many surnames, the meaning of the last name Atkinson evolved over time and became associated with different families and individuals. It is important to note that surnames were not always fixed and hereditary until relatively recent times, and individuals often adopted different surnames or variations depending on factors such as social mobility or regional customs.

Overall, the last name Atkinson has a rich history and is associated with both England and Scotland. Its patronymic origin and connection to the biblical name Adam add depth to its etymology. While the exact meaning and associations of the surname may vary among different branches of the Atkinson family, its widespread distribution and historical presence in various occupations highlight its significance in genealogy and historical research.

Interesting facts about the last name Atkinson

  • The surname Atkinson is of English origin and derives from the medieval given name Atkin, a diminutive form of the popular name Adam.
  • The name Atkinson has been found in various spellings throughout history, including Atkynson, Atkenson, Adkinson, and Adekinson.
  • The earliest recorded mention of the Atkinson surname dates back to the 14th century.
  • Atkinson is a relatively common surname in England, particularly in the northern regions.
  • Notable individuals with the surname Atkinson include British actor and comedian Rowan Atkinson, known for his roles as Mr. Bean and in the Blackadder series.
  • The name Atkinson is also prevalent in regions with Scottish and Irish heritage, as many families migrated from England to these areas over the centuries.
  • Atkinson is derived from the Old English personal name “Adecoc,” which translates to “son of Adam.”
  • Several place names in England are associated with the surname Atkinson, such as Atkinson Hill in West Yorkshire.
  • The Atkinson Coat of Arms features a gold lion rampant on a red shield, symbolizing courage and nobility.
  • The popularity of the Atkinson surname spread through English colonization, leading to Atkinsons settling in various parts of the world, including North America, Australia, and New Zealand.

Name Rank


There are around 53376 people with the last name Atkinson in the US

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