This surname of ALCORN is a pet form of Alexander. This name was originally from the Greek ALEXANDROS, which denoted defender of men. The popularity of the name in the Middle Ages was largely due to the Macedonian conqueror, Alexander the Great (356-323 BC) - or rather to the hero of the mythical versions of his exploits which gained currency in the 'Alexander Romances'. The name was also borne by various early Christian saints, including a patriach of Alexandria (AD c.250.326) who was venerated for condemning the Arian heresy. The name was introduced into Scotland by Queen Margaret, wife of King Malcolm Ceannmor, from the Hungarian court where she was brought up. The name is also spelt ALKIN, ALLKINS and AUKIN. ALKIN the Jong was recorded in the year 1296 in County Cheshire, England, and appears to be the first of the name on record. John ALYN was documented in Hereford in the year 1307. It was not until the 10th century that modern hereditary surnames first developed, and the use of fixed names spread, first to France, and then England, then to Germany and all of Europe. In these parts of Europe, the individual man was becoming more important, commerce was increasing and the exact identification of each man was becoming a necessity. Even today however, the Church does not recognise surnames. Baptisms and marriages are performed through use of the Christian name alone. Thus hereditary names as we know them today developed gradually during the 11th to the 15th century in the various European countries. A minor notable of the name is Douglas Earle ALCORN, born on the 1st November 1906. He is a neuropsychiastrist, and his appointments have included physician at the Royal Jubilee Hospital, 1938, and at Hollywood Hospital, New Westminster. He was also a lecturer at the University of Victoria. In the Middle Ages heraldry came into use as a practical matter. It originated in the devices used to distinguish the armoured warriors in tournament and war, and was also placed on seals as marks of identity. As far as records show, true heraldry began in the middle of the 12th century, and appeared almost simultaneously in several countries of Western Europe.
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