819,740 ALLEN members around the world
Family spelling variants includes Aland, Hallen, Hallan, Allam, Alling, Allyn, Alleyn, Alleyne, Allain, Alain, Allon, Allin, Alen, Alan, Allan
Stay informed about ALLEN Family online & offline events!
See our recent family gatherings
ALLEN Family History
Meaning the "son of Alan", it is said to have come into England with Alan Fergeant, Count of Brittany, companion of the Conqueror, and first Earl of Richmond, Count of York. It soon became common in the north of England and the Scottish border. The oldest known form of the name was in the 10th century. There are more than fifty coats - armorial assigned to the surname.
Allen - (Variants: Allan, Alan, Alen, Allin, Allon, Alain, Allain, Alleyne, Alleyn, Allyn, Alling, Allam, Hallan, Hallen, Aland) English and Scottish: from a Celtic personal name of great antiquity and obscurity. Various suggestions have been made regarding the origin; the most credible is that it originally meant ‘little rock’. Compare Gaelic ailín, diminutive of 'ail' meaning rock.
English: relationship name from the Middle English, Old French personal name Alain, Alein (Old Breton Alan, of uncertain origin), the name of a Welsh and Breton saint, which was popular among the Bretons followers from Normandy with William the Conqueror. It was first reported in Britain, followed by Ireland. In England, the personal name is now usually Alan and in Scotland is more often Allan.
The popularity of this name in Scotland is mainly due to Walter fitz Allen (d.1177), a descent of Breton, the first Scottish royal steward and his son Alan (d.1204). This family were among the first to bear the surname in Scotland, the originators of the Steward dynasty. It is also recorded that the master and warden of Edw. Allen or Alleyne, should bear the name in recognition of founding Dulwich College in 1019, which gave rising to the patronymic and thus the surname Alan.
In 1881, Allen was widespread across the UK with 55,708 occurrences and 2,499 residing in the southern county of Kent. An earlier bearer of the relative surname in the county of Kent was Johanne Aleyn in 1377. Agricultural Labourer, Labourer and Farmer were the top 3 reported occupations in UK worked by Allen in 1881. The most frequent occupation was Agricultural Labourer.
American physicist James Alfred Van Allen (b. 1914—) discovered The Van Allen radiation belts, 600 miles from the earth, have a major effect on our planet’s atmosphere and rotation.
1881, 1891 Census The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland, P.Hanks, Coats, McClure OUP 2016
1881 Census in Kent
Dictionary of American Family Homes, P Hanks OUP
2003 Homes of Family Names in Great Britain, H.B. Guppy, London 1890
1860 Lower, Mark A Patronymica Britannica: a dictionary of the family names of the United Kingdom, London: J.R Smith. Public Domain
1857 Arthur, William An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. New York: Sheldon, Blakeman. Public Domain
Who have we missed?
Tell us about any famous ALLEN (or surname variant) you think we should add here. We will get our genealogists to check them out and add them to the list. Thanks!
Join the conversation with the ALLEN tribe
- Find your ALLEN ancestor
- Tell us about your ALLEN Family
- Tell us about your ALLEN ancestors
- Ask a question about the ALLEN history
- Leave a message for ALLEN family members
Invite more ALLEN family members!
Write an email address and click 'Invite' to share this page with more members of the ALLEN tribe.
Family Coat of Arms Generator
Why not see what your family crest could look like based on your own family characteristics?Create Crest