The Surname of
English, Irish & Scottish
The name Allen is a Celtic personal
name of great antiquity and obscurity. In England the
personal name is now usually spelled Alan, the surname
Allen; in Scotland the surname is more often Allan. Various
suggestions have been put forward regarding its origin; the
most plausible is that it originally meant ‘little rock’.
Compare Gaelic ailín, diminutive of ail ‘rock’. The
present-day frequency of the surname Allen in England and
Ireland is partly accounted for by the popularity of the
personal name among Breton followers of William the
Conqueror, by whom it was imported first to Britain and then
to Ireland. St. Alan(us) was a 5th-century bishop of Quimper,
who was a cult figure in medieval Brittany. Another St.
Al(l)an was a Cornish or Breton saint of the 6th century, to
whom a church in Cornwall is dedicated.
Coat of Arms (English)*
Coat of Arms (Irish)*
Coat of Arms (French)*
Partly taken from:
Dictionary of American Family Names,
Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-508137-4
* Coat of Arms belonged to
families and/or individual persons. People with the Surname
of Allen came from England, Germany, the Netherlands & many
other places. Allens from a different countries would have
a different Coat of Arms.