Dear Cousin, My husband also has ancestors in Shelby Co Ala.Nancy Acton was the daug. of Aaron Acton. In Faye Acton Axford's book (301 Ninth St. Athens, AL 35611) she says "the Acton name goes back to '55 BC when Caesar arrived and found the word on trees' according to Dr. D.H. Acton. "At that time the word was not a family name but used by the Druids to mean 'Oaktown' or 'farm/field surrounded by oak forests' "So it was a sacred word to the Druids as they worshiped the mighty oak." The people who settled in Britain where of Saxon origin and were "in Worcestershire according to a Mr. Abington, previous to the conquest." "Dr. Acton also wrote that 'two Acton brothers left Britain for Normandy at a time between the rule of Danish King Canute, 1016 and Wm the Conq. in 1066. They married Norman women, lost their Anglo-Saxon speech and changed the spelling of Acton to Haqueton.Wm the Conq, after the conquest, dispossesssed some of the Actons who had stayed in the homeland and gave their estates to his Frenchified followers.Centuries later, when much of the bitterness had abated, the name was changed back to Acton which it remains today, though there are recent variants such as Ecton, etc. The above information was gleaned by me (Dr Acton)from browsing in books of hearaldry in the Britisih Museum and other sources,in the fall of 1925 and later" Mrs. Axford goes on to say that a few years after the signing of the Magna Carta, "Elias de Acton , of Acton Hall, Ombersley, Worchestershire, was summoned to serve on a jury with 'other knights and gentlemen". She also says that "Actons live in other parts of Worcestershire by Elizabethian times". In the 16th century, at Pershore,Worcestershire the estate "Wolverton" was inherited by Wm. Cokesey's nephew, John Acton. Wm. Acton, son of John inherited theestate in according to a probate dated 12 Feb. 1616. From there Mrs. Axford really delves into the Acton history of the 1600s and beyond bring us up to date in the 20th century. If you want the book you'll have to write her. I have no monetary interest in the book but just wanted a new comer to Acton genealogy to know it exists.It is self-published and spiral bound, photocopied production with pictures and index. My Nancy is in it with a picture and letter to her sister. It is so heartwarming to recieve a letter that is of 100 years old from a relative even by marriage!! I hope this has given you and others some more info on the family. I am not an expert on the Actons but thought you would enjoy the small history. Cheers, Linda in Albuq.