Dictionary of Medieval Names
from European Sources

Alan m. Of uncertain origin. The most likely explanation is that it is from Old Breton, Old Welsh alan 'deer'.

The name of a 9th C king of Brittany and a 15th C French saint.

The name was introduced into England, and thence to Scotland, from Brittany via the Normans.

England
Latin
1155 Alanus (nom) FPD p. 121, fn. 1; 1181 Alanus (nom) StPaulDom p. 115; 1185x1186 Alani (gen) PR-XXXVI p. 192, Alanum (acc) ibid. p. 3, Alanus (nom) ibid. p. 7; 1189 Alani (gen) GASurv p. 161, Alanus (nom) ibid. p. 112; 1194 Alanus (nom) RotCur-vol1 p. 8; 1222 Alani (gen) StPaulDom p. 6, Alanus (nom) ibid. p. 15; 1256 Alani (gen) EARNb p. 3, Alanum (acc) ibid. p. 4, Alanus (nom) ibid. p. 1, Allanum (acc) ibid. p. 3; 1279–80 Alano (abl) WaHR-SK p. 29, Alanus (nom) ibid. p. 30; 1296 Alani (gen) RCS-1 p. 95b; 1340xc1450 Alani (gen) CovGuild-1 p. 4, Alannus (nom) ibid. p. 1, Alanus (nom) ibid. p. 2; 1377 Alanus (nom) FenPT-2 p. 4; 1381 Alani (gen) ibid. p. 6, Alano (abl) Suffolk1381 p. 100, Alanus (nom) FenPT-2 p. 6, Suffolk1381 p. 77, Alyn (nom) ibid. p. 80; 1423 Alano (abl) WillsInv L; 1485–1486 Alano (abl) CovGuild-2 p. 54; 1558/9 Alani (gen) Chst-1 p. 9; 1569 Alanus (nom) ibid. p. 11
Middle English
1381 Aleynes (gen) Suffolk1381 p. 135
Early Modern English
1485 Aleyne WillsInv LXIX; 1530 Alan LIWill-III p. 30, Alane ibid. p. 60; 1530/31 Alen ibid. p. 96; 1550 Allen StAnthonlin p. 8; 1551 Alen ibid. p. 9; 1554 Allen ibid. p. 10; 1555 Allen ibid. p. 11; 1559 Alen ibid. p. 13; 1561 Allen ibid. p. 14; 1562 Allen ibid. p. 14; 1563 Allen ibid. p. 16; 1564 Allein ibid. p. 17, Allen ibid. p. 17; 1566 Allen ibid. p. 18; 1568 Allen ibid. p. 19; 1570 Alen ibid. p. 21, Allen ibid. p. 21; 1572 Allen ibid. p. 21; 1574 Allan COmar-vol2 p. 122; 1576 Allen StAnthonlin p. 25; 1577 Allen ibid. p. 25; 1578 Allen DEmar-vol1 p. 84; 1585 Allyn DEmar-vol2 p. 11; 1588 Allyn ibid. p.16; 1594 Allen HAmar-vol9 p. 116
Middle French
1371 Alain SocAntNor-3-3 no. 41
France
Latin
c1147 Alani (gen) CartNDdOurscamp LXII; a1163 Alanus (nom) clairvaux-12thc 97; 1164 Alanus (nom) ibid. 121; 1180 Alani (gen) RotScaNor p. 34, Alano (abl) ibid. p. 3, Alanus (nom) ibid. p. 12; 1207 Alani (gen) CartNDdOurscamp CXXIX, Alanus (nom) ibid. CXXIX; 1304 Alanum (acc) ibid. LXXXVI; 1378 Alano (dat) hanquetvol1 1059
Old French
1296 Alain paris1296 p. 2; 1313 Alain Paris1313 p. 11, Alein ibid. p. 4
Middle French
1392 Alain MemBret-II col. 615; 1415[1469x1471] Allain Waurin p. 225; 1418 Alain HGParis p. 380; 1421 Alain favier 1207; 1561 Alain RegPCC-1 p. 4; 1565 Alain ibid. p. 139, Allain ibid. p. 123; 1566 Allain ibid. p. 196; 1567 Allain ibid. p. 326; 1568 Allain ibid. p. 389; 1571 Allain ibid. p. 442
Ireland
Latin
fin12thC Alan (nom) MunDocIr III, p. 20, Alanus (nom) ibid. III, p. 12
Italy
Latin
1156 Alano (dat) CartYonne1 CCLXXX; 1376 Alaono (abl) DouGen1 p. 131, Allaono (abl) ibid. p. 41, Allaonus (nom) ibid. p. 231
Latvia
Latin
a1286 Alanus (nom) RigSB 3
Scotland
Latin
1124 Alanus (nom) ESC L; a1200 Alano (abl) CartNBer 1; 1214–26 Alano (abl) morton-vol1 1; 1235 Alani (gen) ibid. 3, Alano (abl) ibid. 3; 1238 Alani (gen) CartStAndrew p. 2; 1376 Alano (dat) morton-vol1 16; c1377 Alanus (nom) ibid. 4; 1377 Alanus (nom) ibid. 6; 1381x1388 Alano (dat) CartNBer [p. xxxvii]; 1384 Alani (gen) CartLevenax p. 7; 1387 Alani (gen) ibid. p. 9; 1425 Alano (abl) RMSRS-2 27; 1426 Alano (abl) ibid. 48; 1578 Allanus (nom) morton-vol1 15
Scots
1376 Alani (gen) morton-vol1 16
Cite as: J. Uckelman, S.L. Uckelman. "Alan". In S.L. Uckelman, ed. The Dictionary of Medieval Names from European Sources, Edition 2016, no. 4. http://dmnes.org/2016/4/name/Alan.