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Famous Name - Allen

coat of arms

The Scottish family name Allen is classified as being of personal name origin, derived from a parental first name or from the font name of the grandfather or indeed a more remote ancestor of the original bearer of the surname. With regard to the family name Allen, it indicates "son of Allen", an ancient first name of uncertain origin, believed to be a derivative of the Gaelic "ailin" meaning "little rock". This given name was introduced to England and Scotland by the Bretons who accompanied William the Conqueror to England in 1066. Variants of the surname Allen include Alen, Allan and Alan. One of the earliest references to this name or to a variant is a record of one Alan, son of Waldeve, who witnessed charters by King David I in 1139. However, research is of course ongoing and this name may have been documented even earlier than the date indicated above. Loughlan fiz Aleyn, son-in-law of Alexander of Argyll, is recorded in 1301 and Henry Mane was clerk of accounts of the kings household in 1490. Henry Alane was archdeacon of Dunblane in 1498. It seems that in Scotland early documents for the study of the development of surnames in that country are scarce with the result that scholars have had to rely on source material dating from the fifteenth or sixteenth centuries. Thus, it is possible that family names cited in those manuscripts may in fact have been well established as fixed hereditary names at a much earlier period. This name was introduced to North America as early as 1620 in which year we find a record of the emigration of Bozoun Allen, who sailed to Hingham, Massachusetts. The name could of course have been first introduced to that country at an earlier date.
BLAZON OF ARMS: Per bend indented argent and gules in chief three crescents two and one in base a mullet all counter- changed.

CREST: An eagle rising proper.

MOTTO: Fortiter.

Translation: Bravely.

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