Origin of the name ALAN.
Etymology of the
Meaning of the baby name ALAN.
ancient Celtic name variously rendered "harmony," "fair,
handsome" "bright, clear, lucid." Charnock thinks
it is probably the same as Allan,
from Old French alan, allan, "a hunting dog," originally
from the country of the Alani or Alauni, a warlike people of European
Sarmatia. Cf. Spanish Aláno.
Alanus is a Middle Latin form.
1882). Also see Alain
and Allen. Usage:
America, Australia, Brazil, Croatia, England, Great Britain, Ireland,
Mexico, New Zealand, Scotland, Wales.
The three primary bards of
Britain were Plenydd, Alawn, and Gwron, whom Mr. Davies explains as
light, harmony, and virtue. Plenydd, it is thought, is related to
Belenus; and Alawn is erected by ardent Cymrians into the mythic Greek
Olen, who is said to have been the first writer of hymns in hexameter,
and whom the Delphic poetess, Boeo, calls a Hyperborean; this name is
said to mean the flute-player. At any rate, I have found Alwn
Aulerv in Welsh genealogies as brother of Bran the Blessed, and this
must be the real origin of the Breton Alan. Elian and Hilarius
were both used as its Latinisms.
It is first found in early Breton history, then it
came to England with Alan Fergéant, Count of Brittany, the companion of
William the Conqueror, and first holder of the earldom of Richmond, in
Yorkshire; and, indeed, one Alan, partly Breton, partly Norman, seems to
have taken up his abode in our island before the Conquest, and four
besides the count came after it. In the time of Henry I., one of
these gentlemen, or his son, held Oswestry; and as these were the times
when Anglo-Norman barons were fast flowing into Scotland, his son Walter
married a lady, whom Douglas's Peerage of Scotland calls Eschina,
the heiress of Molla and Huntlaw, in Roxburghsire; and their son,
another Alan, secured another heiress, Eva, the daughter of the Lord of
Tippermuir; and, becoming high steward of Scotland, was both the
progenitor of the race of Stuart, and the original of the hosts of Alans
and Allens, who have ever since filled Scotland. That country has
taken much more kindly to this Breton name than has England, in spite of
Allen-a-dale, and of a few families where Allen has been kept up; but as
a surname, spelt various ways, it is still common. (History of
Christian Names, Yonge, 1884)