Alfine History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Alfine is a name of ancient Norman origin. It arrived in England with the Norman Conquest of 1066. Alfine is a name that 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 Alfine family

The surname Alfine 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 Alfine family

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

Alfine Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Alwin, Alwyn, Elwyn, Elwyn, Elvin, Elvins, Elvyn, Alvin, Allwin, Allwyn, Ellwyn, Ellwin and many more.

Early Notables of the Alfine family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Alfine family

Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Alfine name or one of its variants: 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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