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.

The English forms Alayn and Alyn are witnessed in 1379 in the relational bynames Alaynsoñ (WRYPT1 p. 159) and Alynsoñ (WRYPT1 p. 296), and Aleyn and Alyn in 1482 in the relational bynames Aleynson (BreadBk p. 3) and Alynson (BreadBk p. 5).

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; 1379 Alanus (nom) WRYPT1 p. 18; 1381 Alani (gen) FenPT-2 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
1295 Alain (obl) HistHdVParis p. 128; 1296 Alain paris1296 p. 2; 1313 Alain Paris1313 p. 11, Alein ibid. p. 4
Middle French
1386 Alain MemBret-II col. 513; 1392 Alain ibid. col. 615; 1415[1469x1471] Allain Waurin p. 225; 1418 Alain DdB1418 p. 204, 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; 1587 Alain RTFProvins 270
Ireland
Latin
fin12thC Alan (nom) MunDocIr III, p. 20, Alanus (nom) ibid. III, p. 12; c1456 Alani (gen) RegOct 85; 1479 Alanum (acc) ibid. 22
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 2017, no. 1. http://dmnes.org/2017/1/name/Alan.