Allen or Alan: linking first names to surnames

Written by    Last updated: March 23, 2007

Many first names and surnames are similar or even identical due to the fact that they come from the same source of names.

During the Middle Ages people generally had only one fixed name – their given name. Any other name that was added was used to designate occupation, estate, place of residence, or some particular thing or event that related to the person.

Eventually, when both the first name and second name together began recurring and causing mix‐ups, it was necessary to add a further name in the middle to identify the individual more clearly.  Usually, this was done by giving the father’s first name as a second name or by giving two names at the time of baptism. For example, John’s son may be given the surname Johnson. Employees were also often named after their employer, for instance the surname Andrews could mean either ‘son of’ or ‘employee of’ Andrew.

Among the aristocracy there was a tradition of giving the mother’s surname as the child’s middle name.  Eventually the middle names were elevated to first names. For instance, some of the Scottish first names that started as surnames are Cameron, Murray and Scott.

Here are some first names that are related to or are the same as surnames…

First Name Name as Surname
Adam  Adamson, Addison, Atkins, Atkinson
Agnes Annison, Anson
Alan  Allan, Allen, Allinson
Alexander Sanders, Saunderson
Amice  Amis, Amison
Andrew Anderson, Andrews
Augustine Austen, Austin
Bartholomew Bartlett, Bateman, Bates
Bailey Bailey
Beatrice  Beatty, Beeton
Benedict Benn, Bennett, Benson
Cameron Cameron
Campbell  Campbell
Carrick Carrick
Cicely Sisley, Sisson
Chandler Chandler
Christopher Kitson, Kitts
Craig Craig
Daniel Daniels, Danson
Daly  Daly
David  Davidson, Davies, Dawes
Denis  Dennison, Dyson, Tennyson
Douglas  Douglas
Duncan Duncan
Durand Durrance, Durant
Earl Earl, Earle
Edith Eddis, Eddison
Edmund  Edmondson, Edmunds
Elias  Elliot, Ellis, Ellison
Emery Amery, Emerson
Emma  Emmett, Empson
Evan Evans, Bevan
Farrell  Farrell
Findlay Findlay
Fraser Frazer
Geoffrey  Jeeves, Jeffries, Jefferson
Gerald  Garratt, Jarrett, Jerrold
Gervais  Gervis, Jarvis
Gilbert  Gibbs, Gibbons, Gilbertson
Graham  Graham
Grant  Grant
Gregory  Greer, Gregson, Grierson
Kelly Kelly
Henry  Harris, Harrison, Henderson
Herman  Armand, Harman
Hugh Hewes, Hudson, Hutchinson
Isabel  Ibson, Tibbs
James Gemson, Jamieson
John Jackson, Jenkins, Johnson, Jones
Juliana    Gill, Gillett, Gilson
Laurence  Law, Lawrence, Lowry
Lee Lee
Lewis  Llewellyn, Louis, Lowis
Lloyd  Lloyd
Luke Lucas, Lukin
Mabel Mappin, Mapson
Margaret Magson, Margetts
Martin Martell, Martens, Martinson
Mary Malleson, Marriott, Mollison
Matilda    Madison, Mawson, Tilley
Matthew  Matheson, Mattin, Maykin
Morgan Morgan
Murray  Murray
Nicholas  Cole, Collett, Collins, Nicholson
Nigel Neal, Neilson, Nelson
Nolan  Nolan
Patrick  Paterson, Paton, Pattison
Peter Pearson, Perkins, Peterson, Pierce
Ralph  Rawkins, Rawlins, Rawlinson
Randal  Randall, Randolph, Rand
Reid  Reid, Reed
Rhys  Rice, Reece, Price
Richard  Dickens, Higgins, Pritchard, Richardson
Robert Dobbs, Hobson, Hopkins, Robinson, Robson
Ross  Ross
Russell Russell
Scott Scott
Stewart  Stewart
Simon Simmonds, Simpson, Symonds
Stephen  Stenson, Stephenson, Stevens
Thomas Thompson, Tomlinson, Tompkins
Todd Todd
Tremaine  Tremaine
Trevor  Trevor
Tyler Tyler
Vaughan Vaughan
Walter Waterson, Watkins, Watson
William Gilliam, Wilkins, Willkinson, Wilson

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