This long-established surname is of early medieval English/Norman-French origin, and derives from the Anglo-Norman French "aleman", ultimately from the Late Latin "Alemannus", from a Germanic tribal name meaning "all the men". The surname is therefore an ethnic one for someone from Germany. However, in some cases, the name may be locational from the Norman region of Allemagne, to the south of Caen, which was probably so named from Germanic settlers there. The Old French "aleman" was also used as a personal name and is recorded in its Latinized form "Alemannus" in Records of St.Benet of Holme, Norfolk, dated 1101. Early recordings of the surname include: Walter le Aleman (Yorkshire, 1200); Robert Alman (Cambridgeshire, 1327); Thomas de Alemayne (London, 1320); and Inglebright de Alman (Yorkshire, 1332). On August 14th 1541, John Allman, an infant, was christened at St. Margaret's, Westminster, London. A notable bearer of the name was George James Allman (1812 - 1898), professor of botany, Dublin University, 1844; regius professor of natural history, Edinburgh University, 1855 - 1870, and gold medallist, 1896. A Coat of Arms granted to the Alman family of Sussex, circa 1337, is a shield divided per bend gold and sable, with a cross potent counterchanged, the Crest being a leg in armour spurred gold, couped in the middle of the thigh. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Aleman, which was dated 1199, in the "Memoranda Roll of Northumberland", during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "Richard the Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. 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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