Double-barrelled surnames, usually created following a marriage between two families, have no overall meaning as a unit, but the separate parts have their own meaning and derivation. In this instance, the name Sands has two distinct possible sources. Firstly, it may be of Anglo-Saxon origin, and a topographical name from residence by a patch of sandy soil, the derivation being from the Olde English pre 7th Century "sand", sand. Early examples of the surname include: Thomas Attensandes (Yorkshire, 1301) and Gilbert del Sandes (Cumberland, 1332). Sands may also be a shortened form of the medieval male given name Sander, itself a pet form of Alexander, from the Greek "Alexandros" meaning "defender of men". The final "s" on Sands indicates the patronymic. The surname Allan derives from a Celtic personal name of great antiquity. Most probably the original root is the Gaelic "ailin", little rock, which gave rise to the Old French given names Alain, Alein, and the Old Breton Alan. The surname Allan is now very popular both in England and in Ireland, and has many variant spellings including Al(l)en, Alleyne, Allin and Allon, the earliest bearer of the surname being Geoffrey Alein, recorded in the Cambridgeshire Feet of Fines, dated 1234. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Sandes, which was dated 1205, in the "Curia Regis Rolls of Surrey", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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