This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin and is a locational name from one of the many places thus called for example in Cheshire, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Middlesex, Shropshire and Suffolk. More common variations are: Ackton, Achton, Aecton, Eacton, Actton, Accton, Achtoun, Acatono, Whacton, Octon.
The surname Acton was first found in Cheshire, Shropshire, and Worcestershire. Sometime before the Norman Invasion in 1066 they held a family seat at Ombersley in their mansion Castle known as Acton Hall, in Worcestershire. "Engelard de Acton, of Acton-Pigot and Acton-Burnell, admitted on the Roll of Guild Merchants of Shrewsbury in 1209. The very first recorded spelling of the family was shown to be that of Hugh de Acton, dated 1194, in the “Pipe Rolls of Shropshire”. It was during the reign of King Richard I, who was known as “Richard the Lionheart”, dated 1189-1199. Surname all over the country became a necessity with the introduction of personal taxation.
Some of the people with the name Acton who arrived in the United States in the 17th century included John Acton, who settled in Virginia in 1642. Jon Acton arrived in Virginia in 1642. People with the surname Acton who landed in the United States in the 18th century included James Acton, who settled in New England in 1718. The following century saw much more Acton surnames arrive. Some of the people with the surname Acton who arrived in the United States in the 19th century included Thomas Acton, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1854.
Some of the people with the surname Acton who arrived in the Canada in the 19th century included Mr. John Acton, aged 26 who emigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Erin's Queen" from the port of Liverpool, England but died on Grosse Isle in August 1847. Some of the population with the surname Acton who arrived in New Zealand in the 19th century included Edward Acton, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "New Era" in 1855.