This medieval surname recorded in the spellings of Allenson, Allanson, Allinson, and (sometimes) Allison, is a patronymic form of 'Allan'. This ancient personal name is of Celtic and Gaelic origins, including Breton and Cornish. The derivation is from the pre 5th century compound 'Ail-in', translating as 'Little rock', from 'ail' (rock), and 'kin', - a close relative. The first known name holder was St Alain, the bishop of Quimper in 6th century Brittany, and it was from the popularity of this early churchman that the name spread through Northern Europe. Certainly the name was foremost amongst the many Breton followers of William the Conqueror in 1066, and subsequently in Lincolnshire where many Bretons were granted lands. 'Alanus of Lincoln' being so recorded in the 1086 Domesday Book. The name was also popular in Cornwall where a church is dedicated to St. Allan. Early recordings of the name include William Aleynsson, a Scots prisoner of war in 1375, and Nycholas Aleynson in the Cambridge rolls of 1383. John Alanson is recorded in the rolls of Whitby Abbey, Yorkshire, in 1395, and Thomas Aleinson, a Scotsman in London in 1399. One of the earliest settlers in the new Virginia Colonies of America, was William Allinson, aged 25 yrs, who embarked on the 'Primrose of London' on July 15th 1635. A coat of arms granted in York in 1635, being a paly wavy of six, or and azure, on a chief gules, a lion passant guardant in gold. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry Aleyson, which was dated 1332, in the Subsidy Rolls of Warwickshire', during the reign of King Edward 111, known as 'The founder of the navy', 1327 - 1377. 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.
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