Explore the Family Name Allen

The meaning of Allen

1. English and Scottish: from the Middle English, Old French personal name Alain, Alein (Old Breton Alan), from a Celtic personal name of great antiquity and obscurity. In England the personal name is now usually spelled Alan, the surname Allen; in Scotland the surname is more often Allan. From 1139 it was common in Scotland, where the surname also derives from Gaelic Ailéne, Ailín, from ail ‘rock’. The present-day frequency of the surname Allen in England and Ireland is partly accounted for by the popularity of the personal name among Breton followers of William the Conqueror, by whom it was imported first to Britain and then to Ireland. Saint Alan(us) was a 5th-century bishop of Quimper, who was a cult figure in medieval Brittany. Another Saint Al(l)an was a Cornish or Breton saint of the 6th century, to whom a church in Cornwall is dedicated. 2. English: occasionally perhaps from the rare Middle English femaje personal name Aline (Old French Adaline, Aaline), a pet form of ancient Germanic names in Adal-, especially Adalheidis (see Allis). 3. French: variant of Allain, a cognate of 1 above, and, in North America, (also) an altered form of this. History: This name was brought to North America from different parts of the British Isles independently by many bearers in the 17th and 18th centuries. Prominent early bearers include Samuel Allen, who settled in Braintree, MA, c.1629 (died 1648 in Windsor, CT) and whose descendants included Ethan Allen (1737–89), leader of the Green Mountain Boys in VT during the Revolution; and William Allen (died 1725), from Dungannon, Ireland, an early Presbyterian settler in Philadelphia, whose descendants include William Allen (1803–79), governor of OH.

Dictionary of American Family Names, 2nd edition, © Oxford University Press, 2022.

How common is the last name Allen in the United States?

According to the Decennial U.S. Census, the popularity of the surname Allen has seen some changes from 2000 to 2010. In 2000, Allen was ranked as the 32nd most popular surname but dropped slightly by 3.13% to the 33rd position in 2010. However, even though its rank went down, the number of people with this surname increased by 4.15%, from 463,368 in 2000 to 482,607 in 2010. This change lowered the proportion of people named Allen per 100k from 171.77 individuals to 163.61.

20002010Change
Rank#32#33-3.13%
Count463,368482,6074.15%
Proportion per 100k171.77163.61-4.75%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Allen

In terms of ethnic identity, data from the Decennial U.S. Census shows that there were shifts among people bearing the Allen surname between 2000 and 2010. The majority of Allens identified as White, although the percentage decreased from 70.24% in 2000 to 67.59% in 2010. Those identifying as Black represented the second largest group, increasing from 25.14% to 26.17%. The biggest change occurred within the Hispanic identity, which saw an increase of 52.47%, from 1.62% to 2.47%. Both the Asian/Pacific Islander and Two or more races categories also saw significant increases, up by 31.71% and 34.46% respectively, while the American Indian and Alaskan Native category experienced a minor growth of 3.61%.

20002010Change
White70.24%67.59%-3.77%
Black25.14%26.17%4.1%
Hispanic1.62%2.47%52.47%
Two or More Races1.77%2.38%34.46%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.83%0.86%3.61%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.41%0.54%31.71%

Allen ancestry composition

23andMe computes an ancestry breakdown for each customer. People may have ancestry from just one population or they may have ancestry from several populations. The most commonly-observed ancestry found in people with the surname Allen is British & Irish, which comprises 53.0% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (21.7%) and Nigerian (3.7%). Additional ancestries include Scandinavian, Eastern European, Italian, Spanish & Portuguese, and Ghanaian, Liberian & Sierra Leonean.

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ANCESTRY BREAKDOWNCOMPOSITION
British & Irish53.0%
French & German21.7%
Nigerian3.7%
Other21.6%
Allen

Possible origins of the surname Allen

Your DNA provides clues about where your recent ancestors may have lived. Having many distant relatives in the same location suggests that you may all share common ancestry there. Locations with many distant relatives can also be places where people have migrated recently, such as large cities. If a large number of individuals who share your surname have distant relatives in a specific area, it could indicate a connection between your surname and that location, stemming from either recent ancestral ties or migration.

Based on 23andMe data, people with last name Allen have recent ancestry locations in United Kingdom and Ireland.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Greater London, United Kingdom82.70%
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom82.70%
Merseyside, United Kingdom82.60%
West Midlands, United Kingdom82.30%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom82.30%

What Allen haplogroups can tell you

Haplogroups are genetic population groups that share a common ancestor on either your paternal or maternal line. These paternal and maternal haplogroups shed light on your genetic ancestry and help tell the story of your family.

The top paternal haplogroup of people with the surname Allen is R-CTS241, which is predominantly found among people with European ancestry. Haplogroup R-CTS241 is descended from haplogroup R-M343. Other common haplogroups include R-P311 and R-L21, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Thompson, Taylor, Wilson, Brown, Smith, Davis, Thomas, Young, Walker, Clark.

The most common maternal haplogroups of people with Allen surname are: T2b, H, H1. These most commonly trace back to individuals of European ancestry.

allenPaternal Haplogroup Origins R-M343

Your maternal lineage may be linked to Marie Antoinette

Because it is so dominant in the general European population, haplogroup H also appears quite frequently in the continent's royal houses. Marie Antoinette, an Austrian Hapsburg who married into the French royal family, inherited the haplogroup from her maternal ancestors. So did Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, whose recorded genealogy traces his female line to Bavaria. Scientists also discovered that famed 16th century astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus traced his maternal lineages to haplogroup H.

Maternal Haplo Image

What do people with the surname Allen have in common?

Spoiler alert: it's complicated. People with the same last name are usually no more genetically similar than a randomly sampled group of people from the same population. That said, people with the same surname are more likely to have similar ancestries than randomly sampled individuals. The reason is the tendency of people with similar cultural or geographical backgrounds to preferentially mate with one another. That's why people who share a surname may be more likely to share traits and tendencies in common than people within the general population. Check out the percentages below to see the prevalences of tastes, habits, and traits of people with your surname compared with prevalences among 23andMe users.

Preferences

Allen

Chocolate Ice Cream

Prefers chocolate flavored ice cream over other flavors.

"Allen" Surname 43.0%

23andMe Users 41.3%

Traits

Allen

Misophonia

When sounds made by others, like the sound of chewing or yawning, provoke strong emotional reactions in an individual.

"Allen" Surname 25.6%

23andMe Users 27.9%

Habits

Allen

Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Allen" Surname 22.9%

23andMe Users 21.1%

Wellness

Allen

Cat Allergy

An allergic reaction to cats, characterized by symptoms such as sneezing, itching, and difficulty breathing.

"Allen" Surname 34.6%

23andMe Users 36.7%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Allen?

The short answer is that, if there is an association between surname and health, it's usually more about your ancestry than your name. Individuals with a given surname are no more genetically similar than the general population but often have similar ancestries. The populations of people associated with those shared ancestries often have sets of genetic variations, also known as alleles, in common. Some of those alleles are associated with a greater likelihood of developing certain diseases.

Disease variant frequency by ancestry

Disease allele frequencies in populations associated with the surname Allen are shown below. Important Note: not everyone with a disease allele will develop these health condition

Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Y402H variant

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of irreversible vision loss among older adults. The disease results in damage to the central part of the retina (the macula), impairing vision needed for reading, driving, or even recognizing faces. The 23andMe Health + Ancestry DNA test includes the two most common variants associated with an increased risk of developing the condition: the Y402H variant in the CFH gene and the A69S variant in the ARMS2 gene. Learn more about Age-Related Macular Degeneration

British & Irish 62.1%

23andMe Users 57.2%