Last name: Allen

This distinguished surname with more than fifty heraldic Coats of Arms granted to nameholders, and having several notable entries in the British 'Dictionary of National Biography', is equally widespread in England, Scotland and Ireland. It derives from the Gaelic and Breton personal name of the pre-Christian era 'Ailin' which loosely translates as 'Little rock, although it may also mean 'harmony'. The first recorded name bearer was 'Alawn', a legendary poet of the fifth century a.d., reputed to be one of the three foremost musicians of the period. From early times the spelling form has varied considerably not least in the Celtic countries where it has ranged from Eilian to Alwyn and Alleyne. The Bretons, who were originally British settlers in France, returned as invaders with William, Duke of Normandy, otherwise known as 'The Conqueror' in 1066, and in so doing it is claimed, re-introduced the name into England. Certainly 'Alanus' without a surname, is recorded in the 1086 Domesday Book for the county of Suffolk. Early surname recordings include those of Roger Alain of Yorkshire in the rolls of the village of Calverly, in 1246, and Richard Aleyns of Staffordshire, in the Assize Court Rolls of 1309. Other examples are John Allen, prebendary of St Pauls Cathedral, London in 1527, whilst in 1638 another John Allen was a puritan divine, and one of the earliest settlers in the New England colonial city of Plymouth, USA. The coat of arms most associated with the surname has the blazon of a gold field, charged with three black hounds passant, the crest being an eagle rising. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Geoffrey Alein, which was dated 1234, in the 'Feet of Fines' rolls of Cambridgeshire, during the reign of King Henry 111, known as 'The Frenchman', 1216 - 1272. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2015

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Donald Allen

It's nice to know where my name comes from glad to be apart of this clan

John Allen
I come from Luton in Bedfordshire and I can Trace my family back to 1756 all in Luton. I have not gone further back yet. Nice to know all you Allen's out there

Abbey Allen

nice to know my family isn't the only allen's out there.

Brenda Wise
anyone have an Ann Allen BD 1750 married to John Ratcliffe BD 1757 from Northumberland in the uk ? any help appreciated thank you.

Gregory Allen
Looking for.history on a Mary Weldon married to a David Allen, England, early 1700's.

Go to the the have a lot of history on us allens.

brandon allen
hi my family used to be gypos and my great gran stopped traverling I we lost a lot of our family and its so hard to find my tree would love to know if anyone else has the same problem

Gregory Allen
From Utah, USA, with ancestors from England and Scotland.

My grandpa Joseph kirby Allen and his family are from utah. His name ring a bell? Kirby is also a family name.

Forbes castle in Scotland is my ancestors.

Forbes is also a family name.

Greg Allen

From Alabama and my name is Gregory Allen as well.

hazel grove
anyone know john and mary ann allen, i know they had a daughter name jane lived in dartmouth, n.s.

Mike Allen
I would like to hear from anybody who has recent ( !900 ) ancestors from Tamworth, Polesworthy area's Staffordshire

Chris Allen
Hi I'm from staffs

Joe Allen
Staffs also.

ray cook
my mom is a allen from the family that did the hillsville tragedy in VA we was given a book on the allens that goes way back

Taylor allen
My dad and i are decendants from the hillsville tragedy as well! Email me


David Ray Allen
My recent family ties are to Virginia and north Carolina, I have traced my family back to the late 1600's in Canterbury England.

Francis Allen
I'm a Allen my gramd father seth Allen was from was from Sedalia wesr Virgina He married a pearil may Davis also from Vest Virginia i think we are Scotch Irish i hope some someone know;s my people if so please E-Mail me @