Though many lines of Acheson family descendancy have been researched and documented by numerous genealogists and/or family members over the centuries, it is this authors opinion (after thirteen years of research), that no comprehensive and plausible history of the surname and its descendants as yet exists. This is for the most part due to the wide dispersal of the family across the globe, and the resulting loss of collective information that might otherwise have been preserved had we remained a united Clann in Scotland. Many previous Acheson family histories have suffered from serious shortcomings, omissions, and often the overlooking of obvious historical facts. Some of these problems are enunciated below:
a) The purging from the "tree" of any undesirable associations from its past.
b) A lack of emphasis given to the overlaying of recorded history on top of family history in order to discern potential motivations for resulting family activities.
c) Virtually no recognition of the status of the Acheson surname as an ancient Sept of the Scottish Clann Gordon, and the suggestive implications of such status.
d) Very little effort made to document lines of descent other than ones own branch, or to preserve and share the information from countless citations of the surname that genealogists have uncovereded, but disguarded since they were not directly pertinent to their our own personal branch.
e) The infiltration of commercial influences, aggrandizing and/or incorrectly deriving the origination of the surname, and completely mishandling Heraldry devices.
f) The inability to research the surname on a large scale and in a manner which includes the countless spelling and pronunciation variations that presently exist.
Any effort to peel back the dense layers of the "unknown" that abound when attempting to research the lineage of such an ancient surname is no simple task. Attempts to do so will of course necessitate some fundamental assumptions along the way. We of AGES should therefore endeavor here to adequately explain any such assumptions we are forced to make, so that in the end what remains is at least mostly the truth.
One beneficial factor which works in the favor of genealogists attempting to research a descendant Acheson line, is the relative rarity and curious nature of the name itself. It is unlike many other British surnames (i.e. Carpenter, Johnson, Miller, Smith, Stone, Thompson) in that it is both rare (and seems always to have been), and was probably not a name adopted as a result of a common occupation. It is apparently a patronymic name, meaning that it is most likely derived from the name of a father, which has undergone some understandable "evolution" over the last 600+ years of its written history. From the late middle ages, the surnames phonetic pronunciation has understandably changed since its earliest definitive citations. The pronunciation changes that occured helped bring about the wide variety of surname spellings that have been documented over the centuries. Many of these pronunciation changes can be linked to the various language influences that were present in early Great Britain, or else resulted in places of later migration.
Perhaps now with this new "catalyst for information exchange" we can rebuild this families history. Maybe in the process we will also restore some sense of connection to our origins, while simultaneously allowing the sense of companionship to be reborn between kinsmen.
Finally, a form of communication evolved from the "soup of society" that will at last allow us (Acheson descendants and Genealogists around the world), to correct some of the above mentioned oversights and shortcomings (though perhaps along the way we will create some erroneous new assumptions of our own!). We have been blessed with an opportunity to do what would have been impossible only a few short years ago, and indeed which is still impossible for many less distinctive surnames even now. Using this remarkable new medium that is "the World Wide Web", we have been given the chance to put back together the "Clann" that was once our family. Even after its dismemberment during centuries of hardship, immigration, conflict, and with the relentlessness passage of time, we could one day reunite this extended family once more- perhaps not in physical body, but at least in spirit...