This interesting and long-established surname, recorded from an early date in the south eastern English counties of Kent and Sussex, has two distinct possible sources, each with its own history and derivation. Firstly, Allred may derive from the Middle English personal name "Alred", which represents a coalescence of two Olde English pre 7th Century male given names: "Ealdraed", composed of the elements "eald", old, and "raed", counsel, and "Aethelraed", from "aethel", noble, and "raed" (as above). "Alret" (without surname) appears in the Domesday book of 1086 for Kent, and an Alredus de Wicham was recorded in the 1206 Curia Regis Rolls of that county. The surname was first recorded prior to the end of the 12th Century (see below), and further early examples include: Walter Ailred and Martin Alred (Huntingdonshire, 1279). The second possibility is that Allred is a variant of Aldritt, a topographical name from residence by an alder grove, chiefly found in Sussex, and deriving from the Middle English "aldrett" (Olde English "alor", alder (grove)). Robert atte Aldratte was noted in the 1332 Subsidy Rolls of Sussex. In the modern idiom the name is variously spelt: Alred, Allred, Aldred, Audritt, Eldred, Eldrett and Eldritt. Henry Allred and Margett Oswell were married at St. Mary le Bow, London, on May 13th 1544. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Alred, which was dated 1198, in the "Pipe Rolls of Kent", 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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