Alan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The history of the Alan name began during the Middle Ages in the region of Normandy. The French name is derived from the ancient given name Allen, meaning rock. This type of surname is known as a patronymic name, and comes from a broad category of surname types, known as hereditary surnames. Today there is a small town named Allain in north-eastern France.

Early Origins of the Alan family

The surname Alan was first found in Normandy (French: Normandie), the former Duchy of Normandy, where this family held a family seat since very early times.

During the early Middle Ages the members of the family distinguished themselves through their involvement in the politics of the country, focusing on the welfare of their province. Through the years the family prospered and grew, and therefore branched into to several other areas.

By the 1700's members were prominently engaged in politics and François Allain was elected deputy at the Estates General at Saint-Malo in 1789. A member of this family who became notable through his contribution to society was François-Marie Allain de Launay, who served the King as Counselor and was elected President of the municipal district of Carhaix.

Descending from the original line of Normandy, François-Mathieu Alein, who came from a branch family, was the legal agent of the imperial treasure at Mouzon. He was highly esteemed and therefore elected as a member of the Legislative Assembly.

Simon Alain, born in 1646 and baptized on 18th August 1648, son of André and Catherine (née Marc), travelled from Rouen, Normandy to Canada in the 17th century. After arriving in Quebec he married Jeanne Maufait, daughter of Pierre and Marie (née Duval), on 15th April 1670. [1]

Early History of the Alan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Alan research. Another 106 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1113, 1700, and 1789 are included under the topic Early Alan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Alan Spelling Variations

One can encounter great variation in the spelling of French surnames; in part, as spelling, and the spelling names was not yet standardized during the early development of the written French language. Later, there was much branching and movement of families, and spellings would change according to region. Variations of the name Alan include Alain, Alains, Alin, Alein, Alan, Allain, Allains, Allin, Allein, Allan, Aland, Alland, Aling, Alling, Alen, Allen, Aleng, Alleng, Alène and many more.

Early Notables of the Alan family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Alan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Alan migration to the United States +

Approximately 110 years after the first landings by Cartier, there were only about 300 people in Quebec. France gave land incentives for 2,000 migrants during the next decade. Early marriage was desperately encouraged amongst the immigrants. The fur trade attracted migrants, both noble and commoner. 15,000 explorers left Montreal in the late 17th and 18th centuries. By 1675, there were 7000 French in Quebec. Migration to New France (Quebec) continued from France until it fell in 1759. In the year 1675 the Acadian presence in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island had reached 500. In 1755, 10,000 French Acadians refused to take an oath of allegiance to England and were deported to Louisiana. The French founded Lower Canada, thus becoming one of the two great founding nations of Canada. The distinguished family name Alan has made significant contributions to the culture, arts, sciences and religion of France and New France. Amongst the settlers in North America with this distinguished name Alan were

Alan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Francisco DePaula Alan, who arrived in Puerto Rico in 1878 [2]

Contemporary Notables of the name Alan (post 1700) +

  • Fred Alan, American politician, Candidate in primary for Mayor of Bloomington, Minnesota, 2011 [3]
  • James Alan McPherson (1943-2016), American essayist and short-story writer; the first black writer to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
  • Sir William Alan Macpherson of Cluny (b. 1926), 6th of Blairgowrie, Scottish High Court judge and the 27th Hereditary Chief of Clan Macpherson
  • Robert Alan Altman (1947-2021), American lawyer and video game executive
  • Ronald Alan Klain (b. 1961), American attorney, political consultant, and former lobbyist, 30th White House Chief of Staff (2021-)
  • Bruce Alan Sullenger, American biologist, the Joseph W. and Dorothy W. Beard Professor of Experimental Surgery at the Duke University School of Medicine
  • Richard Alan Smith (1924-2020), American business executive who served as CEO of General Cinema Corporation
  • Richard Alan Drasin (1944-2020), American bodybuilder, personal trainer, actor, stuntman, author, and professional wrestler
  • Rick Alan Reed (1950-2020), American umpire in Major League Baseball
  • Jim Alan Piper (b. 1981), Australian two-time gold, three-time silver and two-time bronze medalist breaststroke swimmer


  1. ^ Olivier, Reginald L. Your Ancient Canadian Family Ties. Logan: The Everton Publishers, Inc., P.O. Box 368, 1972. Print
  2. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  3. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, February 2) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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