Skip to content
  • Start free trial

Origins of the Allen surname

A collage of historical images including two family portraits and a postcard of people boarding a ship

What does the name Allen mean?

The Allen surname is believed to be patronymic, referring to those who are the son or descendant of Alan or Allen (a common forename from the Norman era). Allen is a mostly English and Scottish surname, with Celtic roots. It can sometimes refer to someone who is from or near an Allen (green plain) or the river Allen, of which there are several.

Alternative variations of the name Allen

Allen, Alan, Allan, Alleyn, Allain

I’ve managed to trace back to the mid-1500s! I can’t believe it! Utterly engrossing and I have uncovered some quite moving and heartbreaking stories attached to various ancestors. You don’t need any qualifications to start - just time patience, and some information.

TrustPilot review
1 of 3

Start your family tree

Trace your family back in time. Make new discoveries and see what other Findmypast family historians in our genealogy community have discovered about the Allens.

Sign up to get started

Delve deeper into the Allen family's history

Where do most Allens live?

In 1921, most Allens lived in London.

Census records trace your ancestors through each generation, so you can follow where your relatives lived through each decade.

Interesting facts about Allens

How common is your surname?

40th most common surname in the UK

We have 600,000 records for the Allen surname. The oldest one dates back to 1220.

Who were Allens most likely to marry?




Our Marriage record sets tell us which families married Allens.

What are the most common Allen first names?

  • John
  • William
  • Mary
  • Elizabeth

Our birth record sets tell us the names of Allen family members

Common jobs for Allens

Men and women often performed different types of jobs, so these are displayed by gender to maintain their historical accuracy.

Common Female occupations for Allens in 1921




Domestic Servant


General Servant Domestic


General Servant


Common Male occupations for Allens in 1921
Agricultural Labourer


General Labourer


Coal Miner




Farm Labourer


An image of a census transcript and a picture of a dairy farmer holding two milk jugs

Census records provide incredible detail on names, ages, marital statuses, occupations and more.

We found over 800,000 family trees with the Allen surname

Trace your family back in time and see what other Findmypast family historians in our genealogy community have discovered about the Allens.

Search for a relative in our family trees

Share your discoveries

Find out more about your family in our records

or try an advanced search

Start your family history journey

Start free trial

Start free trial