ALLEN - Name Meaning & Origin

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The Allen and Allan surname derive from "aluinn," meaning fair or handsome.

The Allan surname spelled with an "a" is generally considered to be associated with Scottish clans, including Clan Donald, Clan Grant, Clan MacFarlane, and Clan MacKay. Spelled with an "e," however, the Allen surname is generally considered to be English in origin. However, a variety of names from a variety of regions might be anglicized as either Allen or Allan, so the name spelling may not point to your family's origin.

Surname Origin

Scottish, English

Alternate Surname Spellings


Famous People With the Surname ALLEN

  • Ethan Allen - leader of the Green Mountain Boys and an American officer during the Revolutionary War
  • Kris Allen - winner of American Idol, season eight
  • Lily Allen - British pop star
  • Richard Allen - minister, educator, writer, and founder of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) denomination
  • Marcus Allen - National Football Hall of Fame member, inducted 2003

Genealogy Resources for the Surname ALLEN

100 Most Common U.S. Surnames & Their Meanings
Smith, Johnson, Williams, Jones, Brown... Are you one of the millions of Americans sporting one of these top 100 common last names from the 2000 census?

Allen Family Genealogy Forum
Search this popular genealogy forum for the Allen surname to find others who might be researching your ancestors, or post your own Allen query. There are also separate forums for the ALLAN and ALAN variations of the Allen surname.

FamilySearch - ALLEN Genealogy
Find records, queries, and lineage-linked family trees posted for the Allen surname and its variations. - ALLEN Genealogy & Family History
Free databases and genealogy links for the last name Allen.


References: Surname Meanings & Origins

  • Cottle, Basil. Penguin Dictionary of Surnames. Baltimore, MD: Penguin Books, 1967.
  • Menk, Lars. A Dictionary of German Jewish Surnames. Avotaynu, 2005.
  • Beider, Alexander. A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from Galicia. Avotaynu, 2004.
  • Hanks, Patrick, and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford University Press, 1989.
  • Hanks, Patrick. Dictionary of American Family Names. Oxford University Press, 2003.
  • Smith, Elsdon C. American Surnames. Genealogical Publishing Company, 1997.
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Your Citation
Powell, Kimberly. "ALLEN - Name Meaning & Origin." ThoughtCo, Apr. 5, 2023, Powell, Kimberly. (2023, April 5). ALLEN - Name Meaning & Origin. Retrieved from Powell, Kimberly. "ALLEN - Name Meaning & Origin." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 10, 2023).