Possible Origin of the Allman Surname
The Allman family surname with it's various spellings (Alemann, Aleman, Alman, Allaman, Allemann, Alleman, Almon, Allmon, Almond, Almand, etc.) possibly derived it's origin from the Alemanni (the e is silent) tribe which first appeared in historical records in Germany around 211 AD when Emperor Caracalla ruled Rome. The Alemanni territory lay West of the Rhine as far as the Vosges mountains. The Alemanni were a warlike tribe who threatened the security of Rome for nearly 300 years. The wall around the City of Rome was built as a defense against their incursions. Their nation was finally overthrown by Clovis the Frank at Tolbiac in 496. He attributed his victory to his christian wife's God, which caused him to convert to christianity.
Eric Hess adds the following concerning the Alemanni: "Surfing the Project Gutenberg website I found under the authorship of "various" the now defunct "Notes and Querries" Nr 100, September 27, 1851. Therein you find "Querelles d `Allemand", wich may be of your interest. Reading your homepage, found on this way, I found an error too. The germanic tribe of the alamani has been defeated by Julius Caesar in the same year as the gauls, I think 59 before Christ. The latter īs leader is known by everyone through "Asterix": Vercingetorix. The duke of the alamani is not. His name was Ariovistus. He and his tribe have been defeated in the now french region of Alsace, in german "Elsass", the border region oftenly having changed the state. As the alsatian version of the "Allemannisch" dialect has (nearly) ended by political enforcement, there stay german and especially swiss versions actively used. The name Alamani means "all men", they shall have come primarily from Sealand, the isle, where you find Copenhagen. The name means an association of people from different small tribes, the greatest of wich have been the suebi- (those of the suabian houswifes of our Chanceller Angela Merkel). The eldest written text of the alamani seems to be from around 325 by a women named Blidgund. It was written in the "Elder Futhark" alphabeth. Now I am running out of ideas i could write you of. God bless you and stay healthy." Yours sincerely, Erich Hess
The Alemanni as a people ceased to exist, but individuals carrying the Alleman name continued to appear in the pages of history. Some of the more notable ones are: Alemann son of Sigfred Count of Alsace in 764 AD, Louis Aleman Cardinal of Aries and President of the Council of Basel, Anthony Aleman Bishop of Cahors in 1466, and Sybond Aleman Bishop of Grenoble in 1451. The Allemans prospered during the middle ages thanks to one Alleman who in the 10th century helped repel an invasion of pillaging hordes who were supposed to have been Saracens, who were pagans. For his distinguished exploits against the Saracens; Isarn, the Bishop of Grenoble, awarded him the lands and castle of Uriage. It is located about twelve kilometers northwest of Grenoble at the foot of the Dauphinese Alps. In the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, the Alleman family occupied nearly the whole of the Dauphine region. The Alleman family often met in general council. In 1455, 30 men representing twenty branches of the family met in Grenoble at the palace of Bishop Sibond Alleman. The union of it's members was such that it gave rise to a popular proverb - Gare la queue des Alleman - which they adopted as their family motto. They had frequent quarrels, but always settled their disputes among themselves. It was well known that before you quarrel with a member of the Alleman family, you better count the consequences. If a troublesome neighbor entered into a quarrel with the Alleman family, the whole clan would unite in a 'queue', make war upon him, and cut him to pieces.
The "Historie du Chateau d'Uriage" mentions several members of the Alleman family who held positions of rank. There were several governors of the Dauphine, a Grand Prior of Malta, an Archbishop of Aries and Cardinal, who was beatified in the 16th century, several Bishops and Princes of Grenoble, two Bishops of Cahors, and finally, Geoffrey Alleman, Lord of Uriage, better known as Captain of the Mollard. He was described as a very fine cavalier, tall in stature, strong of limb, strong and broad of chest, powerful in frame, bold of heart, gentle and gracious to his neighbors and renowned in his time, one of the strongest and most stalwart of the realm of France. He especially distinguished himself in the Italian wars. One day he nearly took prisoner by surprise Pope Julius the second, and he carried off the great standard of the Church, which was presented to the King of France in the town of Grenoble. He later perished gloriously in the battle of Ravenna. In 1630, the lordship of Uriage passed from the family of Alleman to the family of Boffin. The Allemans embraced the reformation, and were dealt with accordingly. Religious persecution drove them out. They took refuge where they could find it - primarily in England and then in her colony America. Those who took the Allman spelling dropped the silent e so the name could be pronounced correctly in English.
Primary source of information: "A Brief Historical Account of an Ancient Name"
www.surnamedb.com has the following for the Almond surname "This interesting and unusual surname is of Old French and Anglo-Saxon origin, and has two possible sources. Firstly, it may be from the English name for someone from Germany, derived from the Anglo-Norman French "aleman", German, or "alemayne", Germany, from the Late Latin "Alemannus" and "Alemannia", from a Germanic tribal name, probably meaning simply "all the men". In some cases the reference may have been to the Norman region of Allemagne, to the south of Caen, which was probably so named from Germanic settlers there. The second source is from the Olde English pre 7th Century personal name "Athelmund", composed of the elements "athel", noble, and "mund", protection. There is no evidence of any connection with the almond nut or tree. The personal name was first recorded as "Almund" and "Ailmundus" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and the surname was first recorded in the late 13th Century (see below). William and Awdry (as written) Almond were some of the earliest settlers in the New World, leaving London on the "Abigall" in June 1635, bound for New England. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Ailmun, which was dated 1279, in the "Hundred Rolls of Cambridgeshire", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling."
www.surnamedb.com says the following about the surname Allman: "This long-established surname is of early medieval English/Norman-French origin, and derives from the Anglo-Norman French "aleman", ultimately from the Late Latin "Alemannus", from a Germanic tribal name meaning "all the men". The surname is therefore an ethnic one for someone from Germany. However, in some cases, the name may be locational from the Norman region of Allemagne, to the south of Caen, which was probably so named from Germanic settlers there. The Old French "aleman" was also used as a personal name and is recorded in its Latinized form "Alemannus" in Records of St. Benet of Holme, Norfolk, dated 1101. Early recordings of the surname include: Walter le Aleman (Yorkshire, 1200); Robert Alman (Cambridgeshire, 1327); Thomas de Alemayne (London, 1320); and Inglebright de Alman (Yorkshire, 1332). On August 14th 1541, John Allman, an infant, was christened at St. Margaret's, Westminster, London. A notable bearer of the name was George James Allman (1812 - 1898), professor of botany, Dublin University, 1844; regius professor of natural history, Edinburgh University, 1855 - 1870, and gold medallist, 1896. A Coat of Arms granted to the Alman family of Sussex, circa 1337, is a shield divided per bend gold and sable, with a cross potent counterchanged, the Crest being a leg in armour spurred gold, couped in the middle of the thigh. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Aleman, which was dated 1199, in the "Memoranda Roll of Northumberland", during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "Richard the Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling."
My family line traces back to Nathaniel Almond born 1730/1732 in Virginia. My line is Scotch/Irish according to family tradition.
Tom Allman 2012
Back to Home Page