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2,405 study surnames with us
and a further 6,120 variant names.

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About the study

Hi Thanks for visiting my profile page,

I have just started the Aitchison One-name study in August 2017. I have just completed the Pharos Course on this subject and found it fascinating.

I have been doing family history research for a number of years and have gathered a lot of information about my family surname. I hit a brick wall trying to trace back to my 4 x great grandfather, and also had a lot of information on different Aitchison's that were not linked (at least not yet) to my tree.

The picture above is of my grandfather when he was young with his parents (George Aitchison and Mary Hood) and the rest of his siblings. I have been in contact with descendants from almost every part of the family now and they are spread out to U.S.A. Canada, New Zealand and Australia.

Variant names

I have not yet registered any variants at this stage but concentrating first of all on the Aitchison name on its own.
Some of the known variants though are:

  • Aitcheson
  • Aitchinson
  • Atcheson
  • Atkinson
  • Attchison
  • Atzinson
  • Achesoun
  • Atyesoun
  • Aicheson
  • Acheson - This one being searched by Jim Benedict
  • Atkynsoun

Name origin

The surname Aitchison is patronymic in origin, belonging to that group of surnames derived from the forename of the original bearer's father. In this instance, the surname Aitchison is a Scottish and English border form of Atkinson, found in Cumberland as Attchison in 1596 and in Scotland as Atzinson in 1475, Achesoun in 1497, Atyesoun in 1540 and Aicheson in 1590. It is ultimately derived from the forename Adam, of which a popular diminutive was "Atty". The original bearer would have been simply the "son of Atty" or "Atty's son". The medial letters "ch" arose because of the pronunciation of the letter "y" after the "t" as in "att-ye-son".


Historical occurrences of the name

Records of this surname in Scotland date back to the fourteenth century when one Johannes filius Ade (the Latin form of the surname) is noted in the Exchequer Rolls in 1384. He was a "custumer" of North Berwick, and appears in later Rolls as John Atkynsoun. Another John Atkynsoun was a "forestaller" in Aberdeen in 1402 and he is cited in the Council of Registers of Aberdeen, while one John Atzinson was the vicar of Morton in 1475. One James Aitchesoun, "Master Cunyear" (Master Coiner), was ordered to coin bawbees. His family remained coiners of the Scottish Mint for several generations.  Early English references to the name include one William Attchison, of Millwrights in Cumberland, who was buried in Kirk-Andrews-upon-Esk in November 1596.

It is interesting to note that Sir John Aitchison, a Knight of the Bath was granted the Knights Grand Cross in March, 1867.

Name frequency

From the 1881 Census of England, Wales and Scotland there are 2,070 instances of the Aitchison surname.

Surnames of England website shows there being 2,341 placing it in =3,213 in popularity.


Distribution of the name website shows the distribution of the surname Aitchison is widespread with highest concentrations in New Zealand and Scotland.

Australia, North England and Canada also have quite a lot of Aitchison's.


As this study has just started I am about to start work on the data. I will be focusing on the Scottish records first then moving on from there.


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Twitter - AitchisonONS