Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Allen Name
Scotland, France, England, Ireland
Origins of Name:
The surname of Allen derives from the Old Gaelic and Old Breton personal given name of “Ailin,” which was given in the pre-Christian era, and can be translated to mean “little rock” or possibly means “harmony.” The name was introduced in England following the Norman Conquest of 1066 as the name “Alan,” named after St. Alan, who was a 5th Century Bishop who resided in Quimper, Brittany. It is believed that throughout the Middle Ages, parents named their children after those who had been blessed with the entrance to heaven and given sainthood in the hopes that because of this divine circumstance, their child would be blessed and protected by the saint that they were named after. Eventually, this surname came about because of the patronymic form of the name, which meant “son of Alan.”
More common variations are: Allenn, Alleyn, Alleen, Allein, Allien, Alleyne, Allan, Allene, Aellen, Alleni, Alleon, Aullen, Alland, Alan, Allin
The first recorded spelling of the surname of Allen was found in the country of England. One person by the name of Geoffrey Alein was named in the Feet of Fines Rolls of Cambridgeshire in the year 1234. This document was ordered, decreed, and written under the reign of one King Henry III of England, who was known as, and commonly referred to throughout the ages as one “The Frenchman.” King Henry III of England ruled from the year 1216 to the year 1272. Other mentions of the surname within the country of England include Roger Alain of Yorkshire in the Rolls of Calvary Village in the year 1246, and Richard Aleyns, who was from Staffordshire, and recorded in the Assize Court Rolls of Staffordshire in the year of 1309. John Allen was recorded as a prebendary of St. Paul’s Cathedral, which is located in London, England, in the year of 1527. Those who carry the surname of Allen in the country of England are largely dispersed throughout the country. The areas with a higher concentration of people who bear the surname of Allen can be found within the county of Lancashire, the county of Northumberland, and the city of London.
United States of America:
Throughout the 17th Century, Europeans began to flock to the United States of America in search of a better life for them and their families. In Europe, the living conditions and overreach of the government caused the citizens of these countries to become disgruntled with their state of affairs. Thus, many of these peoples migrated to the United States of America, which at that time was referred to as The New World or The Colonies. The first person who bore the surname of Allen during this movement, which was referred to as The European Migration, was one Mr. Allen, who arrived in the state of Virginia in the year of 1623. Those who carry the surname of Allen can be found throughout the country, but reside in larger concentrations in the states of Massachusetts, California, New York, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Texas.
In the 19th Century, it became common to migrate to both Australia and New Zealand. The first person who carried the surname of Allen to Australia was one John Allen, who was being transported as a convict from England aboard the ship named the Ann in 1809. The first person to bring this surname of Allen to New Zealand was John Allen who arrived in Waipa, New Zealand in 1804.
Here is the population distribution of the last name Allen: United States 527,729; England 73,817; Nigeria 37,292; Australia 30,986; Canada 28,622; Uganda 20,164; Jamaica 14,046; South Africa 12,931; Liberia 5,279; Tanzania 4,968
Frederick W. Allen (1926-2016) who was a lawyer and jurist from America, served as the Chief Justice of the Vermont Supreme Court
Susan Allen (1951-2015) who was a harpist from America, and served as the Associate Dean of the Herb Alpert School of Music at the California Institute of the Arts
Eugene Allen (1918-2015) who was an Academy Award Winning art director from America, who served as the President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences from the year 1983 to the year 1985
Eric Allen (1949-2015) who was a CFL football player from America, who played for the Toronto Argonauts from the year 1972 to the year 1975
Miss Elizabeth Walron Allen, aged 29, who was a First Class Passenger from St. Louis, Missouri, who was aboard the RMS Titanic at the time of the sinking, but escaped with her life on lifeboat 2
Miss Dorothy Ditman Allen (died in 1915) who was a First Class Passenger from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania aboard the RMS Titanic as a maid to the Crompton family, who perished in the sinking of the vessel in the year 1915
Allen Family Gift Ideas
Browse Allen family gift ideas and products below. If there are multiple coats of arms for this surname, you will see them at the top of this page and can click on the various coat of arms designs to apply them to the gift ideas below.
Clothing & Accessories
Kitchen & Bath
Fun & Games
Allen Family Crest Corn Hole Game$224.00Purchase »
Allen Family Crest Ping Pong Table$167.59Purchase »
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Blazons & Genealogy Notes
1) (Cheshire, Suffolk, and Wilts). Per bend sinister rompu. ar. and sa. six martlets counterchanged. Crest—A martlet ar. winged and holding in the beak an acorn or, leaved vert.
2) (Essex). Sa. on a chev. or, betw. three bezants charged with as many talbots pass, of the first three crescents az.
3) (Essex). Or, on a fesse vert three lions ramp. of the field.
4) (Grove, near Maidstone, co. Kent, 1610). Or, a chev. betw. three bloodhounds pass. sa. collared of the first armed gu. Crest—On a coronet or, lined erm. a bloodhound pass, sa. collared gold armed gu.
5) (Kent). Per fesse sa. and or, a pale engr. counterchanged and three talbots pass, or, collared gu. Crest—A talbot pass, or, collared gu.
6) (Kent). Or, a chev. betw. three bloodhounds upon the scent sa. Crest—On a mount vert poled round or, a hound sa. collared of the last.
7) (Hoyland, W. R. co. York). Motto—Diligenter et fideliter. Or, three greyhounds pass. sa. two and one. Crest—A demi greyhound ramp. sa. holding in his dexter paw a crescent ar.
8) (Broughton, co. Lane. 1664). Erm. on a chev. betw. three leopards’ faces gu. a bezant. Crest—Out of a coronet a wolf's head erm. maned or.
9) (Brindley, co. Chester, granted by Sir Richard St. George, 1613). Per bend sinister or and sa. six martlets counterchanged. Crest—A martlet or, wings elevated sa. collared gu.
10) (City of Chester, 1697). Per bend sinister ar. and sa. six martlets, counterchanged. Crest—A martlet rising or winged sa.
11) (Rathtimney, co.Wexford, Visit, co.Wexford. 1618). Ar. two bars sa. in chief a mullet betw. two crescents of the last.
12) (Dale Castle, co. Pembroke, whose heiress Elinor, daughter of John Allen, of Dale Castle, Esq. m. in 1776 John Lloyd, of Foes-y-bloidiad and Mabws). Motto—Amicitia sine fraude. Per bend rompu ar. and sa. six martlets counterchanged. Crest—A bird ar. holding in the beak an acorn or leaved vert.
13) (Lancashire). Barry nebulee of six ar. and gu. a label of three points az.
14) (Whetston, Leicestershire, Visit. Leicester, 19). Per pale ar. and sa. a chev. betw. three talbots pass, collared or, all counterchanged.
15) (London). Same arms (the talbots sejant). Crest—A demi griffin holding in the paws a branch vert fructed or.
16) (Sheriff of London, 1620, Camden’s Grants). Per fesse gu. and sa. a chev. rompu betw. three griffin’s heads erased erm. Crest—A griffin's head erased per fesse erm. and gu.
17) (London). Per fesse gu. and sa. a chev. rompu, counterchanged.
18) (London). Per pale ar. and sa. a chev. engr. betw. three talbots counterchanged.
19) (London). Barry of six ar. and az. over all an anchor in pale with two cables fixed to the ring noded and pendent or.
20) Ar. a bend indented betw. a crescent and mullet gu.
21) (Suffolk and Sussex). Ar. two bars sa. in chief three mullets of the second.
22) (Edward, Founder of Dulwich College, co. Surrey, b. in 1566, d. in 1626). See Alleyn.
23) (Cresselly, co. Pembroke, a younger branch of the Allens of Dale Castle, now represented by John Hensleigh Allen, of Cresselly, Esq.). Arms and Crest—Same as Allen of Dale Castle.
24) Or, three pellets, two and one, each charged with a talbot pans, of the first; on a chief gu. a lion pass. guard. betw. two anchors ar. Crest—A demi greyhound ramp, paly of six ar. and sa. collared gu. holding betw. the paws a crescent or.
25) (William Ferneley Allen, Esq., J.P., Alderman of the city of London). Motto—Sine labe decus. Per chev. gu. and erm. in chief two lions’ heads erased or. Crest—Out of a ducal coronet or, a horse’s head ar.
26) (Rossal, co. Lancaster, to which family belonged Cardinal Allen, who d. 1594). Ar. three conies pass. sa.
27) (Huddersfield, Yorkshire). Sa. a fesse engr. erm. betw. three talbots pass, or, collared gu.
28) (Perthshire, of Errol, in Carse of Gowrie). Per bend indented ar. and gu. in sinister chief three crescents, and in dexter base a mullet, all counterchanged. Crest—An eagle, rising, ppr.
29) (William Allen, Esq. of Streatly, co. Berks, J.P., who d. 1745). Ar. two bars az. over all an anchor or.
30) (Sir William Allen, Lord Mayor of London, 1572). Per fesse sa. and or, a pale engr. counterchanged three talbots pass, of the second collared gu. Crest—A talbot pass, sa. collared gu. ears and chain or.
31) (from brass tablet, St. Michael's church, Pembroke, to the memory of Joshua Allen, grandfather of Ven. John Allen, M.A., archdeacon of Salop and vicar of Rees, co. Salop). Per bend rompu ar. and sa. six martlets counterchanged.
32) (allowed by Narbonne, Ulster, to Giles Allen, Mayor of Dublin, 1577, V. in London, d. 1600). Ar. a chev. gu. betw. three torteaux, on each a talbot pass, of the field collared az. on a chief of the last a lion pass. guard. of the first, armed and langued of the second.
33) (Lyne Shany, co. Cavan, 1633, Killowning, co. Tipperary, 1691, afterwards of Dublin). Motto—Virtus auro praeferenda. Gu. three plates, two and one, each charged with a talbot pass, sa., on a chief or, an anchor of the second betw. two lions pass. counterpass. of the first. Crest—A demi tiger ramp. gu.
34) (Dorothy Allen, dau. of Patrick Allen, Esq., and wife of Adam Loftus, Viscount Lisburne). Ar. a chev. engr. gu. betw. three pellets each charged with a talbot pass, of the field on a chief az. a lion pass. betw. two crescents of the first.
35) (granted by St. George, Garter, to William Allen, capt. of a company of foot). Gu. a castle triple-towered or, in base two swords saltierwise ppr. Crest—Out of a ducal coronet or two swords or, falchions saltierwise all ppr.
36) Or, on a chev. sa. three martlets ar. betw. as many ogresses, each charged with a talbot or, on a chief az. a demi lion ramp. betw. two dragons’ heads erased of the first.
37) Ar. on a chev. gu. three lozenges of the field, each charged with a cross crosslet sa.
38) Gu. on a cross pattee ar. five escallops az.
39) Sa. a cross patoncee or, fretty gu.
40) Ar. three bars gu. over all as many towers tripletowered two and one or.
41) Sa. a cross formee or.
42) Per chev. ar. and sa. six martlets counterchanged.
43) Az. a fesse nebulee erm.
44) Ar. a chev. betw. three roses gu.
45) (Chelsea, 1563). Ar. a pale gu. surmounted with a chev. counterchanged charged with a cinquefoil of the second. Crest—A talbot’s head erased per pale indented ar. and gu. collared and chained sa.
46) Sa. three lozenges or.
47) Ar. three lozenges sa.
48) Or, a chev. betw. three leopards’ faces gu.
49) (Errol, co. Perth). Motto—Fortiter. Per bend indented ar. and gu. in chief three crescents two and one in base a mullet all counterchanged. Crest—An eagle rising ppr.
50) (Stanton Woodhouse, Derbyshire, 1586). Or, a fesse gu. betw. three oak leaves ppr.
51) (Derbyshire, London, and Staffordshire). Per chev. gu. and erm. in chief two lions’ heads erased or. Crest—Out of a ducal coronet or, a horse's head ar.
52) (Devonshire). Barry of six ar. and gu. six mullets, three two and one or. Crest—A mullet gu. pierced or.