History of your Surname
Get access to Allen family records.Start a free trial

Allen Family History

Allen Name Meaning

English and Scottish: 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. Various suggestions have been put forward regarding its origin; the most plausible is that it originally meant ‘little rock’. Compare Gaelic ailín, diminutive of 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. St. Alan(us) was a 5th-century bishop of Quimper, who was a cult figure in medieval Brittany. Another St. Al(l)an was a Cornish or Breton saint of the 6th century, to whom a church in Cornwall is dedicated.

Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press

Similar surnames: Allan, Ellen, Almen, Allyn, Alden, Allman, Alley, Kallen, Arlen

Search for a relative to learn more about your family history.

Hint: Try searching for a relative alive in 1940.

Black & white image of a young woman scientist

Where is the Allen family from?

You can see how Allen families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Allen family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Allen families were found in the USA in 1880. In 1911 there were 3,263 Allen families living in Ontario. This was about 45% of all the recorded Allen's in Canada. Ontario had the highest population of Allen families in 1911.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Allen surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Allen ancestors do for a living?

In 1921, Farmer and Stenographer were the top reported jobs for men and women in the CA named Allen. 31% of Allen men worked as a Farmer and 12% of Allen women worked as a Stenographer. Some less common occupations for Americans named Allen were Carpenter and Clerk.

View Census data for Allen | Data not to scale

*We display top occupations by gender to maintain their historical accuracy during times when men and women often performed different jobs.

Top Male Occupations in 1921

  • Farmer
  • Labourer
  • Laborer
  • Carpenter

Top Female Occupations in 1921

  • Stenographer
  • Housekeeper
  • Teacher
  • Clerk
Black & white image of two construction labourers

What Allen family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 3 million census records available for the last name Allen. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Allen census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search Canadian census records for Allen

Passenger Lists

There are 291,000 immigration records available for the last name Allen. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in Canada, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

View all Allen immigration records

Draft Cards

There are 579,000 military records available for the last name Allen. For the veterans among your Allen ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Allen military records

You've only scratched the surface of Allen family history.

Discover More

What is the average Allen lifespan?

Between 1940 and 2004, in the United States, Allen life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1941, and highest in 2002. The average life expectancy for Allen in 1940 was 48, and 73 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Allen

Discover the unique achievements of ancestors in the Allen family tree

Explore Your Tree
Search for another surname
Start a 14-Day Free Trial