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Origin of the name ALAN.
Etymology of the name ALAN.
Meaning of the baby name ALAN.


ALAN.  An 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 AlánoAlanus is a Middle Latin form. (Prænomina, Charnock, 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)


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