Genealogy of the Acton family

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Genealogy of the Acton family
Robert de Lega*
Deputy-Sheriff of Shropshire
(Abt 1180-Bef 1255)
M: _
le Strange
Roger de Tregoz,
Sheriff of Wiltshire
le Strange
de Ewyas
de Tregoz
William FitzRanulf
de Blanchminster
Sir Fulk III
de Blanchminster
le Strange
Helias III
Sir Helias IV
de Blanchminster
Sir John
Walter II
de Clifford
Agnes Llywelyn ‘The Great’
de Cundy
Prince of Wales
Walter III
de Clifford
Sir John Giffard,
1 st Baron of Brimsfield
Fulk le Strange
1 st Baron Strange of Blackmere
Acton of Aldenham:
Arms: Gules, two lions passant in pale argent armed and langued azure between nine cross-crosslets fitchée or
Crest: In a circular wreath gules and argent a leg in armour, couped at the thigh proper, spurred or
Motto: ‘Deo Adjuvante’ (With God Assisting); for the duration of the English Civil War Sir Edward Acton, 1 st Bt. changed the motto to ‘Peareant discrimina’ (let differences perish)
Maud de
Robert de Acton
Deputy-Sheriff of Shropshire & Crusignatus
Parson of Stirchley & Acton Burnell
(Abt 1205-Aft 1272)
M: _
Goch (?)
William de Acton
Of Acton Burnell
(Abt 1235-Aft 1280)
M: Isabella_
Marared ferch
William de Acton
Of Acton Burnell & Longnor
(Abt 1265-Bef 1336)
M: _
de Clifford
John de Acton
(living 1342)
M: _
John de Acton
(living 1362)
Fulk le Strange of Longnor
M: Juliana_
Robert de Acton Burnell
(?-Bef 1294)
Nicholas de Acton
Parson of the church of Wystantowe
(Abt 1270-18 Jan 1336)
Edward de Acton
(living 1342)
Richard Acton
Humfrey Acton
Eleanor Acton
Edward Acton
(living 1433)
Robert Acton
*Eleanor’s ancestry is shown on the left.
Nicholas Acton
of Willstone
(living 1391)
William Acton*
(Aft 1415-Aft 1459)
M: _
Katherine Acton
M: John Butler
Richard Acton
(Aft 1454-?)
M: _
Capt. Edmond Acton
(Alias Litilcan)*
M1: Mary Whittington
M2: Jane _
*8x Great-Granddaughter of King Henry II
Thomas Acton of Aldenham
William de Acton
(living 1369)
Thomas Acton of Longnor & Aldenham*
MP for Bletchingley, Arundel & Shropshire
Both Lancastrian & Yorkist
(1415-8 Feb 1480)
M1: Mary Horde
M2: Joan Downton
(2) Thomas Acton of Longnor
John Acton of Aldenham
(Abt 1455-1497)
M: Jane _
M: Benedicte (Bennet) Knight*
Thomas de Acton
Monk of Shrewsbury Abbey
(living 1333)
Edward de Acton of Longnor
MP for Shropshire
Sheriff of Shropshire
(1326-Aft 1396)
M: Eleanor le Strange*
William Acton of Longnor
(Abt 1390-Bef 1443)
M: _Sprencheaux
*The inquiry held at Thomas’ death in 1480 reveals
that Thomas also held lands in Sussex. I believe it
is possible that the Actons of Ripe, Sussex descend
from Thomas. The earliest record I have found of an
Acton in Ripe is the baptism of Margaret, daughter
of John Acton and Agnes Lulham on 3 May 1539.
Robert de Acton Burnell
(living 1294)
William de Acton
Of Acton Burnell & Longnor
(Abt 1295-Aft 1340)
M: _
Walter Acton of Longnor
(Abt 1365-1420)
M: _Stapleton
*Eleanor le Strange
M: Edward Acton,
Sheriff of Shropshire
Arms: Quarterly, 1st and 4th gu. semée of cross-crosslets fitchée or, two lions passant in pale arg. (for ACTON);
*Robert’s surname ‘de Lega’ suggests his family originated in a ‘lega’ (meaning a clearing). He may have
been a grandson of Ælric de Lega (living 1150), of Prior’s Lee, Idsall (now Shifnal) which is only 20 miles
from Ragdon (where Robert lived as a tenant in 1224). Ælric is known to have had multiple children and
was succeeded by his son Thomas de Lega who lived at Lee Parva in Idsall in 1180 and 1209. Thomas’
sons Walter and Leonard occur in 1194 and he was succeeded by his son Leonard. It is also possible that
Robert de Lega was a younger son of Thomas. If not there are only two clearings mentioned in the vicinity
of Ragdon. The first was Leebotwood, which by 1172 was kno wn as Legam in forestâ de Bottewde (the
clearing in Bote Wood). The second was Longnor, which was known as Lege in the Domesday Book. The
Saxon owner of Leebotwood was called Aulti and the Saxon owner of Longnor was called Eldred. Any
attempt to link Robert de Leye to either of these men is entirely speculative. That said, Robert’s surname is
suggestive and his obscurity also supports the idea of native origins. Since Eldred and Aulti both forfeited
their lands a connection is possible.
Margery Acton
Joyce Acton
William Acton
Thomas Acton
(living 1534)
M: _
William Acton
(living 1508)
M: Joan_
*(8) William Acton occurs in only one document in which Isabel, wido w of Richard
Byshorne, grants to John Leghton of Church Stretton, esquire, a dovecot and lands
at Alghmeston and Henley. The document is dated 2 February 1459, long after (6)
William Acton had died. Another of the witnesses was Fulk Sprencheaux, which
further supports (8) William being a member of the family because (6) William had
married a Sprencheaux. The most solid evidence comes from the will of (8) William’s
presumed son (13) Edmond Acton, who names (15) Thomas Acton as his “cosyn”
and is also named in another document as a “kinsman” of (9) Thomas Acton. Also,
Edmond names a Thomas Leighton as one of his two executors in his will, which
demonstrates a continuity in these two families’ dealings with one another. Lastly, and
perhaps most tellingly, Edmond gave his only son the name William. Thus while (8)
William’s inclusion is tenuous, he is the best candidate for being the father of Edmond.
*Litilcan is a variation of the surname Lyttelton. Edmond’s first wife Mary was the
widow of Sir William Lyttelton of Frankley, Worcestershire. His second wife Jane
was the widow of his ‘kinsman’ (9) Thomas Acton.
Edmond Acton
Thomas Acton
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