The surname Akins is a Scottish and northern Irish family name generally considered to be a variant of Aikens, which is assumed to be a patronymic form of the name Aiken. It is thought that these surnames may derive from the Scots personal name Aitken, presumably a pet form of the name Adam; however some Irish Aikens claim that their name is derived from the Gaelic name Aodhagain. In other cases the surname Akins may also represent the Scots' form of Eachann or Acain, the Scottish Gaelic rendering of the Norse name Haakon. In his book "Surnames of Scotland" George Fraser Black noted that, according to John Paterson (in 1867), the surname Aiken was an old name in the parish of Ballantrae, Ayrshire; and that in Orkney it had come to be used in place of the names Haakon, and Haakonson.
As a surname, the first recorded appearance of its use occurs in the year 1405 in the court records of a Scottish sea merchant named "John of Akyne" who sought restitution for having been kidnapped by Laurence Tuttebury of Hull, England, who pirated his ship and goods. Other instances of its use occur in the early records of Scotland where the surname is seen to have undergone a variety of transformations in spelling, accounting for the many variant forms of the name still seen today. Included among these early records are William Ackin, who was a witness in the parish of Brechin in the year 1476. John Eckin was a tenant under the Bishop of Aberdeen in 1511. John Ackyne served as bailie of Stirling in 1520. Robert Aykkyne was admitted to the burgess of Aberdeen in 1529. Bessie Aiken of Leith was found guilty of Witchcraft in 1597, narrowly escaping execution. David Akin of Aberdeen was an early passenger to America, settling in Newport, Rhode Island with his wife and family before 1664. A John Aiken was among those who fought under the banner of the Covenant at the Battle of Bothwell Bridge in 1679. Alexander Aiken of Bo'ness, West Lothian, was among the Scots colonists who took part in the ill-fated Darien expedition in 1699. Variations of the name were said to have been common in the parish of Ballantrae, as well as in the counties of Aberdeen, Fife, Lanark, Perth, Angus, Renfrew, Ayr, Dumbarton, Stirling and the Lothians. In Ireland the name is common only in Ulster, where many Scots colonists settled in the 17th century.
A total of 77 Akins appear in the 1881 Census of Great Britain, and is ranked 3,502th most common surname.A total of 220 Akins appear in the 1996 Electoral roll of Great Britain, and is ranked 3,835th most common surname. In Griffith's Valuation, a property survey of Ireland from 1848–1864, records 3 households of Akins in Ireland; 2 in County Donegal and 1 in County Monaghan. The surname Akins is ranked 1,556th in the 1990 United States Census. According to the U.S. Social Security Administration, the surname Akins is borne by some 24,306 individuals, compared with 15,191 persons having the surname Aiken, and 9115 with the surname Akin.
Research into the Y-chromosone DNA of Akins males who voluntarily submitted for genetic testing has revealed that the overwhelming majority of those tested are patrilinealy descended from various ancestors belonging to Haplogroup R1b1b2.
People with the surname Akins:
Chris Akins (b. 1976), American football player
Claude Akins (1926–1994), American actor
Ellen Akins American novelist
Frank Akins (b. 1919), American football player
James E. Akins (b. 1926), U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia
Rhett Akins (b. 1969), American singer-songwriter
Virgil Akins (b. 1928), American boxer
Zoe Akins (1886–1958), American playwright
Contributed by Steven L. Akins of that Ilk on 2010-07-07 20:26:25
Related website: The Clan Akins Association