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Family spelling variants includes Jacson, Jaxon, Jagson

JACKSON Family History

This was originally a predominantly English and Scottish surname which derives from the personal names Jaques or John, both originating from the ancient Hebrew 'Yochanan', meaning 'Jehovah has favoured me (with a son)'.

The name John and its diminutive, Jack, was introduced as a personal name to Britain  by returning Crusaders from the Holy Land in the 12th century, and grew rapidly in popularity. It was a patronymic surname, and the suffix '-son' was added to indicate that the ancestor in question was 'the son of Jack'. In Scotland, Jack was commonly a diminutive of James.

Early recordings include such examples as William Jagge and Robert Jacke in the Pipe Rolls of the counties of Huntingdonshire and Staffordshire in 1251 and 1302 respectively. Medieval examples of the slightly later patronymics include Adam Jakson, a witness in the Assize Court of Staffordshire in 1351, Willelmus Jacson or Jackson who was listed in the Poll Tax returns of the county of Yorkshire in 1379, whilst Andrew Jacson was admitted to the rank of burgess of the city of Aberdeen, Scotland, in 1409.

It is found throughout the whole of England, and is particularly numerous in the northern counties, as well as in parts of Scotland, especially the southern counties of that country.

Notable people

  • American President Andrew Jackson (1767—1845) originated the ubiquitous American slang expression ‘OK’. 
  • English test cricketer, Sir Stanley Jackson (1870—1947), who later become Governor of Bengal as well as Chairman of the Conservative Party
  • Peter Jackson (1861— 1901), the first great black boxer, won both the Australian heavyweight title in 1886 and the British Empire title in 1892.
  • Glenda May Jackson CBE (b. 1936) is an English actress and politician. She has won the Academy Award for Best Actress twice.


A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames (1896) by Charles Wareing Endell Bardsley
An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names (1857) by William Arthur
The Surnames of Scotland (1946) by George Fraser Black (1866-1948)
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