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Origins Available: English, French, Irish


The name of the Allen family is derived from the given name Alan, which is thought to mean "little rock" or "headstone." The name was popular among the Breton followers of William the Conqueror due to St. Alan, a 5th-century bishop from Quimper, Brittany; during the Middle Ages, parents often named their children after saints in the hope that the child would be blessed or protected by the saint.

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The surname Allen was first found in the lands of Shropshire, where Walter FitzAlan of Brittany held a family seat after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The parish of Mileham, Norfolk is of early significance to the family. "This place, at the time of the Conquest, was given to Alan, son of Flaald, and ancestor of the Fitz-Alans, earls of Arundel, who erected a strong castle here, of which some vestiges may still be traced, within the area of an intrenchment of twelve acres; the site of the keep is pointed out by an inner intrenchment by which it was surrounded." [1]CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

Since the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules, Breton surnames have many spelling variations. Latin and French, which were the official court languages, were also influential on the spelling of surnames. The spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules. Therefore, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England after the Norman Conquest, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. The name has been spelled Alan, Allan, Allen, Alleyn, Allayne, Allaine, Allain, Allanach, Allanshaw, MacAllan and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Allen research. Another 229 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1532, 1594, 1583, 1658, 1596, 1671, 1637, 1608, 1673, 1610, 1681, 1612, 1685, 1614, 1677, 1621, 1663, 1660, 1677, 1686, 1677, 1686, 1694, 1764, 1635, 1705, 1692, 1700, 1661, 1726 and 1717 are included under the topic Early Allen History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Notable of this family during the Middle Ages was William Allen (1532-1594), an English prelate; Francis Allen (ca.1583-1658), an English financier, politician and regicide who sided with parliament in the civil War against Charles I; John Allen, or John Allin (1596-1671) English settler America in 1637-38, one of the founders of...

Another 125 words (9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Allen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Some of the Allen family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 137 words (10 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Investigation of immigration and passenger lists has revealed a number of people bearing the name Allen:

Allen Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Mr. Allen, who arrived in Virginia in 1623
  • Anne Allen, who arrived in Boston in 1635
  • Edward Allen, who landed in Virginia in 1635
  • Francis Allen, who landed in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1635
  • Gideon Allen, who arrived in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1635
  • ...

Allen Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Samuel Allen, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1702
  • Alex Allen, who arrived in Virginia in 1703
  • Archb Allen, who arrived in Virginia in 1706
  • Thomas Allen, who landed in Antigua (Antego) in 1711
  • Timo Allen, who landed in Virginia in 1717
  • ...

Allen Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Isabella Allen, aged 32, landed in New York, NY in 1803
  • William Allen, who landed in America in 1805
  • Thomas Allen, who arrived in America in 1805
  • John Allen, who landed in New York, NY in 1812
  • Alexander F Allen, who arrived in America in 1812
  • ...

Allen Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Thomas Richard Allen, who landed in Alabama in 1918

Allen Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Alexander Allen, who arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1749
  • William Allen, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • John Allen, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Thomas Allen, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Thomas Allen, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • ...

Allen Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • James Allen, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1815
  • Timothy Allen, who arrived in Canada in 1828
  • John Allen, who arrived in Canada in 1830
  • M. Allen, aged 22, a gentleman, arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the ship "Ward" from Limerick, Ireland
  • Thomas Allen, aged 28, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Trafalgar" from Galway, Ireland
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Allen Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • John Allen, English convict from Surrey, who was transported aboard the "Ann" on August 1809, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • James Allen, English convict from Worcester, who was transported aboard the "Arab" on July 3, 1822, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Austraila
  • John Allen, English convict from Surrey, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on May 17, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
  • Joseph Allen, English convict from Warwick, who was transported aboard the "Andromeda" on October 16, 1826, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
  • William Allen, English convict from Surrey, who was transported aboard the "Andromeda" on October 16, 1826, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
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Allen Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • John Allen landed in Waipa, Auckland, New Zealand in 1804
  • Thomas Allen landed in New Plymouth, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Amelia Thompson
  • W Allen landed in New Plymouth, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Amelia Thompson
  • William Allen landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Cuba
  • Fredrick Kenneth Allen landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
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  • Frederick W. Allen (1926-2016), American lawyer and jurist, Chief Justice of the Vermont Supreme Court
  • Eugene Allen (1918-2015), American Academy Award winning art director, President of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (1983-1985)
  • Susan Allen (1951-2015), American harpist, Associate Dean of the Herb Alpert School of Music at California Institute of the Arts
  • Eric Allen (1949-2015), American CFL football player for the Toronto Argonauts (1972-1975)
  • Lee Dale Allen (1934-2012), American professional wrestler and wrestling coach
  • Brigadier-General Wayne Russell Allen (1899-1975), American Commanding Officer 160th Infantry Regiment (1937-1941)
  • Major-General Terry de la Mesa Allen (1888-1969), American Commanding General 104th Division, North-West Europe (1943-1946)
  • Brigadier-General Frank Albert Jr. Allen (1896-1979), American Chief Public Relation Supreme Headquarter Allied Expeditionary Forces (1944-1945)
  • Brigadier-General Harvey Clark Allen (1888-1963), American Commandant Anti-Aircraft Artillery Training Center (1941-1944)
  • Major-General Leven Cooper Allen (1894-1979), American Chairman of the War Department Manpower Board (1946-1947)
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Allen Historic Events



Halifax Explosion

  • Mrs. Elizabeth  Allen (1845-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the Halifax Explosion on 6th December 1917
  • Mrs. Amy A  Allen (1869-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who survived the Halifax Explosion on 6th December 1917 but later died due to injuries
  • Mr. John Robert  Allen (1887-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the Halifax Explosion on 6th December 1917
  • Ms. Georgina Allen (1889-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the Halifax Explosion on 6th December 1917
  • Miss Elsie  Allen (1901-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the Halifax Explosion on 6th December 1917

HMS Hood

  • Mr. William E S Allen (b. 1916), English Able Seaman serving for the Royal Navy from Brighton, Sussex, England, who sailed into battle on the HMS Hood and died on 24th May 1941 in the sinking
  • Mr. John G Allen (b. 1907), English Marine serving for the Royal Marine from Salisbury, Wiltshire, England, who sailed into battle on the HMS Hood and died on 24th May 1941 in the sinking
  • Mr. James E Allen (b. 1904), English Stoker 1st Class serving for the Royal Navy from Brighton, Sussex, England, who sailed into battle on the HMS Hood and died on 24th May 1941 in the sinking
  • Mr. Edward B Allen (b. 1919), English Ordinary Seaman serving for the Royal Navy from North Kensington, London, England, who sailed into battle on the HMS Hood and died on 24th May 1941 in the sinking
  • Mr. Charles W Allen (b. 1919), English Leading Seaman serving for the Royal Navy from Godstone, Surrey, England, who sailed into battle on the HMS Hood and died on 24th May 1941 in the sinking
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HMS Prince of Wales

  • Mr. Royston Frederick Allen, British Boy, who sailed in to battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking
  • Mr. Herbert James Allen (b. 1920), English Marine from England, who sailed in to battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking, also sailed aboard HMS Anking and was lost in 1942
  • Mr. Graeme Philip Allen, British Midshipman Royal Indian Navy, who sailed in to battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking, also sailed aboard the HMS Exeter

HMS Repulse

  • Mr. William K Allen, British Petty Officer, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking
  • Mr. Jack Allen (b. 1915), English Leading Seaman from Undercliffe, Bradford, England, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking

RMS Lusitania

  • Mr. John Allen, American 2nd Class passenger from Philadephia, Pennsylvania, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking
  • Mr. Norman Frederick Allen, English Second Waiter from Hurst Pier Point, Sussex, England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking
  • Miss Dorothy Ditman Allen, American 1st Class Passenger from Philadephia, Pennsylvania, USA going to Liverpool, England as maid to the Crompton family, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking

RMS Titanic

  • Mr. George Allen (d. 1912), aged 26, English Scullion from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking
  • Mr. Frederick Allen (d. 1912), aged 17, English Lift Steward from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking
  • Mr. Ernest Frederick Allen (1888-1968), aged 24, English Trimmer from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping on collapsible B
  • Mr. William Henry Allen (d. 1912), aged 35, English Third Class passenger from Birmingham, West Midlands who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking
  • Miss Elizabeth Walton Allen, aged 29, American First Class passenger from St. Louis, Missouri who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping in life boat 2
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  • The Allen Family: Descendants of John and Amy Cox Allen with Allied Lines by Lester M. Allen.
  • Allen and Allied Families by Dorris Allen O'Neal Dunn.
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Citations



  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

Other References

  1. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  2. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  3. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  4. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  5. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  6. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  7. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  9. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  10. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  11. ...

The Allen Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Allen Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 9 June 2016 at 07:08.

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