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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Ehlen family come from? What is the English Ehlen family crest and coat of arms? When did the Ehlen family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Ehlen family history?

The ancient surname Ehlen came 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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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.

First found in the lands of Shropshire, where Walter FitzAlan of Brittany held a family seat after the Norman Conquest of 1066.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ehlen 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, 1661, 1726 and 1717 are included under the topic Early Ehlen History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 303 words(22 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ehlen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Ehlen 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.

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Early immigration records have shown some of the first of the name Ehlen to arrive on North American shores were:

Ehlen Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Hans Ehlen, aged 24, landed in New York, NY in 1893

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  • Michelle Ehlen, American filmmaker and comedic actress
  • Nikolaus Ehlen (1886-1965), German pacifist teacher
  • Margriet Ehlen (b. 1943), Dutch poet and a composer and conductor


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  1. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  2. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  3. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  4. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  6. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  7. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  8. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  9. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  10. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  11. ...

The Ehlen Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Ehlen 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 6 November 2014 at 15:32.

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