This interesting name is a variant form of Allen, which is of English and Scottish origin and is derived from the Celtic male personal name "Alan" or "Alain" meaning harmony or little rock. The name is said to have been introduced into England by one Alan Fergeant, Count of Brittany and first Earl of Richmond (Yorkshire), who came over with William the Conqueror during the Norman Conquest of 1066. The personal name is first recorded in its latinized form in the Domesday Book of 1066. McKellen is a Scottish variant of the name and is very common there; other Scottish variants of the name include: McAllan, McAline, McEllen, McElane and McKellan. The christenings were recorded in Scotland of John McKellen on July 19th 1702 at Kenmore, Perth and of Alexander, son of Gilbert McKellen and Katrin Anderson, on January 20th 1706, also at Kenmore, Perth. 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, 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.
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