Alfein History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Alfein is a name that first reached England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. It comes from the Old English personal names Alfwin, and Elwin, as well a collection of other names containing the elements oelf, which means elf, and wine, which means friend.

Etherlwine, Aethelwine or Ailwin (died 922), was a Saxon ealdorman (royal official) of East Anglia, fourth and youngest son of the ealdorman Aethelstan, called the Half-king. [1]

Early Origins of the Alfein family

The surname Alfein was first found in Devon where they held a family seat as Lords of the manor of Alwinetone, later called Alwington. In the Domesday Book Survey of 1086 A.D. this village containing 120 sheep and houses was held by Hamelin from the Count of Mortain, from which the Alwins are conjecturally descended.

One of the first records of the family was Henry Fitz Ailwyn, Lord Mayor of London (1189-1211.)

Early History of the Alfein family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Alfein research. Another 102 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1130, 1175, 1564 and 1499 are included under the topic Early Alfein History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Alfein Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Alfein include Alwin, Alwyn, Elwyn, Elwyn, Elvin, Elvins, Elvyn, Alvin, Allwin, Allwyn, Ellwyn, Ellwin and many more.

Early Notables of the Alfein family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Alfein family

In England at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first Alfeins to arrive on North American shores: John Alvin who landed in America in 1698; Jacob Alwin landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1741; William Elvyn landed in St. Christopher in 1635; John and William Elvins landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1853 and 1857.



  1. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print


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