McAlan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The name of the McAlan 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.
Early Origins of the McAlan family
The surname McAlan 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." 
Alain de Lille (1114-1203), was "one of the most illustrious scholars of his age, and for his attainments in theology, philosophy, history, poetry, and natural science, acquired the designation of 'Doctor universalis.' His nationality has not been ascertained with unquestioned accuracy. " 
Alan of Beccles (d. 1240) was official secretary to Bishops Pandulf and Thomas de Blundeville of Norwich between the years 1218 and 1236 and Alan of Tewkesbury, was a writer of the twelfth century, according to the express statement of Gervase of Canterbury, an Englishman by descent. 
Early History of the McAlan family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McAlan research. Another 115 words (8 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, 1634, 1668, 1430, 1611, 1681, 1614, 1677, 1661, 1726 and 1717 are included under the topic Early McAlan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
McAlan Spelling Variations
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.
Early Notables of the McAlan family (pre 1700)
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 Dedham, Massachusetts; Thomas Allen (1608-1673) English nonconformist minister and divine from Norwich; Richard Alleine (1610-1681), an English Puritan divine; Sir Thomas Allin, 1st Baronet (1612-1685), an officer of the Royal Navy; William Alleine (1614-1677), an English minister; John Alleyn or Allen (1621-1663), Cornish politician, MP for St Michael, Cornwall in...
Migration of the McAlan family to Ireland
Some of the McAlan family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Migration of the McAlan family
Investigation of immigration and passenger lists has revealed a number of people bearing the name McAlan: John Allan, who settled in Virginia in 1622; Anne Allen, who arrived in Boston in 1635; John Allan, who immigrated to Virginia in 1685; as did Alice Allen in 1689.