Allen or Alan: linking first names to surnames

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 NameName as Surname
AdamAdamson, Addison, Atkins, Atkinson
AgnesAnnison, Anson
AlanAllan, Allen, Allinson
AlexanderSanders, Saunderson
AmiceAmis, Amison
AndrewAnderson, Andrews
AugustineAusten, Austin
BartholomewBartlett, Bateman, Bates
BaileyBailey
BeatriceBeatty, Beeton
BenedictBenn, Bennett, Benson
CameronCameron
CampbellCampbell
CarrickCarrick
CicelySisley, Sisson
ChandlerChandler
ChristopherKitson, Kitts
CraigCraig
DanielDaniels, Danson
DalyDaly
DavidDavidson, Davies, Dawes
Denis Dennison, Dyson, Tennyson
DouglasDouglas
DuncanDuncan
DurandDurrance, Durant
EarlEarl, Earle
EdithEddis, Eddison
EdmundEdmondson, Edmunds
EliasElliot, Ellis, Ellison
EmeryAmery, Emerson
EmmaEmmett, Empson
EvanEvans, Bevan
FarrellFarrell
FindlayFindlay
FraserFrazer
GeoffreyJeeves, Jeffries, Jefferson
GeraldGarratt, Jarrett, Jerrold
GervaisGervis, Jarvis
GilbertGibbs, Gibbons, Gilbertson
GrahamGraham
GrantGrant
GregoryGreer, Gregson, Grierson
KellyKelly
HenryHarris, Harrison, Henderson
HermanArmand, Harman
HughHewes, Hudson, Hutchinson
IsabelIbson, Tibbs
JamesGemson, Jamieson
JohnJackson, Jenkins, Johnson, Jones
JulianaGill, Gillett, Gilson
LaurenceLaw, Lawrence, Lowry
LeeLee
LewisLlewellyn, Louis, Lowis
LloydLloyd
LukeLucas, Lukin
MabelMappin, Mapson
MargaretMagson, Margetts
MartinMartell, Martens, Martinson
MaryMalleson, Marriott, Mollison
MatildaMadison, Mawson, Tilley
MatthewMatheson, Mattin, Maykin
MorganMorgan
MurrayMurray
NicholasCole, Collett, Collins, Nicholson
NigelNeal, Neilson, Nelson
NolanNolan
PatrickPaterson, Paton, Pattison
PeterPearson, Perkins, Peterson, Pierce
RalphRawkins, Rawlins, Rawlinson
RandalRandall, Randolph, Rand
ReidReid, Reed
RhysRice, Reece, Price
RichardDickens, Higgins, Pritchard, Richardson
RobertDobbs, Hobson, Hopkins, Robinson, Robson
RossRoss
RussellRussell
ScottScott
StewartStewart
SimonSimmonds, Simpson, Symonds
StephenStenson, Stephenson, Stevens
ThomasThompson, Tomlinson, Tompkins
ToddTodd
TremaineTremaine
TrevorTrevor
TylerTyler
VaughanVaughan
WalterWaterson, Watkins, Watson
WilliamGilliam, Wilkins, Willkinson, Wilson

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