There are many English place names begining with Ac, Ack, Oak and Ock, showing the importance of the oak tree to early society. There are at least twelve places in the current gazetters of England, showing villages of that name mainly in the south east of England. On that basis the surname could have originated from any one of them, but in fact it is much more likely to have come from a place that has now disappeared completely. Some three thousand of these villages form what are known collectively as the "Lost Medieval Villages." These are places which have disappeared from the maps of England over the past five centures. It was when this happened, usually because of changes in agricultural practices, although plagues played their part, that the original inhabitants scattered to the four winds. When they finally settled in another place, as strangers the easiest way to identify them as still happens today, was to call them by the name of the place from whence they came. Recorded as Ackwood, Oakewood and Oakwood, early examples of recordings include Kathryn Oakewood who married James Mill at All Hallows church, London Wall, on March 4th 1604, whilst John Ackwood married Elizabeth Messenger at the church of St Peter le Poer, city of London, on February 23rd 1647.