Atkins

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Atkins family page
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This surname, and the similarly derived Atkinson, had been present in Jersey since the 1650s. Both forms ultimately mean 'son of little Adam', or possibly son of son of Adam. The early entries for Atkinson show the variations in spelling which can be encountered in church records for the same person - the maiden name of the wife of Abel Atkinson is shown as Peter, Pitre and Pittre in the baptism records of their children.


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Clara Jane Atkins, born in Jersey in 1881

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Origins of surname

Atkins means 'son of Atkin', as does Atkinson, so the two names share a page here. The name is derived from 'Ad', a diminuitive of Adam, which became 'At' in some areas of England. The diminuitive suffix '-kin' was then added, perhaps as a first indication of a son, with 's' or 'son' added later.

Early records

Both spelling variations can be found in Jersey church baptism records from the middle of the 17th century, but although there were several marriages involving Atkins grooms in the 17th and 19th centuries, the name did not become established until the marriage of Edward Atkins and Elizabeth Howard in St Helier in 1823. Although both bride and groom were listed as coming from St Helier, there is no record of Edward's birth or baptism in the island, and it is probably that he was born in London in 1801.

The family's stay was to be short, because, after the birth of their sixth child in 1831, William and Elizabeth set off for Australia on the Nancy. At least one of these children had died before they set off and Australian records suggest that they may have travelled with as few as three children. A seventh child, Edward, was born en route off Indonesia, and seven more followed as the Atkins settled as one of the pioneer families of New South Wales.

Variants

Although there is no overlap between these two family names in Jersey records, they share a page here because they have the same ultimate derivation

  • Atkins
  • Atkinson

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