Show ContentsAlden History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Alden family

The surname Alden was first found in Westmorland where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor. The Saxon influence of English history diminished after the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The language of the courts was French for the next three centuries and the Norman ambience prevailed. But Saxon surnames survived and the family name was first referenced in the 11th century when Aldenus held estates in that county. They may have been of Cumbrian extraction. The Dalden variant has a most interesting history found in Dawdon or Dawden, Durham. "There was once a castle or peel here, which in the first ages after the Conquest was the seat of the family of Escolland, who, it seems, afterwards assumed the name of Dalden, by which term this place was formerly designated, It was also for two centuries a favourite seat of the family of Bowes. A domestic chapel was attached to the structure, as Sir Jordan de Dalden, in 1325, obtained a licence to establish an oratory within his manor-house, on condition that no injury should arise to the parochial church of Dalton." [1]

Early History of the Alden family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Alden research. Another 162 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1510, 1600, 1109, 1504, 1455, 1487, 1599, 1687, 1602, 1680, 1622, 1858, 1623 and 1701 are included under the topic Early Alden History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Alden Spelling Variations

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Alden family name include Alden, Aldin, Aldwen, Aldyn, Aldwyn, Aldwen, Elden, Eldwyn, Eldwin, Eldin, Olden, Auden, Aldan, Aldon and many more.

Early Notables of the Alden family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include John, C. Alden (1599-1687) was a crew member of the Mayflower and one of the Puritan settlers of the Plymouth Colony. He arrived in America where he became an assistant to the Governor of the colony. He married Priscilla Alden (c. 1602-1680) (née Mullins or Mullens), on May 12, 1622. She was another passenger on...
Another 60 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Alden Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Alden Ranking

In the United States, the name Alden is the 6,993rd most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [2]

United States Alden migration to the United States +

For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, Canada, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Alden surname or a spelling variation of the name include:

Alden Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Alden (c. 1599-1689) from Essex, the ship's cooper and first person to set foot on Plymouth Rock in 1620 from the "Mayflower"
  • Elizabeth Alden, who settled in Massachusetts in 1620
  • Priscilla Mullins Alden, who landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620 [3]
  • Richard Alden, who landed in Virginia in 1620 [3]
  • Edward Alden, on record in Virginia in 1635
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Alden Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • William Alden, who arrived in Edenton, North Carolina in 1722 [3]
  • Peter Alden, aged 29, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1743 [3]
  • Peter Alden, whose oath of allegiance is on record in Pennsylvania in 1743
Alden Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • I Alden Jr., who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [3]
  • James Alden, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [3]
  • A W Alden, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [3]
  • Mr. Thomas S. Alden, (b. 1848), aged 19, Barbadian clerk traveling aboard the ship "Henry Trowbridge" arriving in New York in 1867 [4]

Australia Alden migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Alden Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • James C. Alden, aged 25, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Standard" [5]

West Indies Alden migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [6]
Alden Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Mr. Edward Alden, (b. 1618), aged 17, British settler travelling aboard the ship "The Dorset" arriving in Barbados in September 1635 [7]

Contemporary Notables of the name Alden (post 1700) +

  • Vernon Roger Alden (1923-2020), American scholar, businessman, philanthropist and the 15th president of Ohio University
  • Priscilla Kay Alden (b. 1946), American television writer and the former head writer for the soap opera, The Young and the Restless
  • Raymond W. Alden III, American academic, current Provost of Northern Illinois University
  • Joseph Alden (1807-1885), American academic and Presbyterian pastor
  • Mary Maguire Alden (1883-1946), American motion picture and stage actress
  • James Alden Jr. (1810-1877), American rear admiral in the United States Navy, eponym of USS Alden (DD-211), a Clemson-class destroyer
  • Christopher J. Alden, American entrepreneur best known as a co-founder of Red Herring magazine
  • David Alden (b. 1949), American prolific theater and film director, twin brother of Christopher Alden
  • Christopher Alden (b. 1949), American theater director, twin brother of David Alden
  • Howard Alden (b. 1958), American jazz guitarist
  • ... (Another 22 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

  1. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  3. 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)
  4. Barbados archives retrieved 2nd November 2021 from
  5. South Australian Register Tuesday 3 February 1852. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) STANDARD 1852. Retrieved
  7. Pilgrim Ship Lists Early 1600's retrieved 29th September 2021. Retrieved from on Facebook