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Surname Alder - Meaning and Origin

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Unearthing My Familial Roots with iGENEA: A Kaleidoscopic View into the History of Alder

Embarking on a journey of self-discovery with iGENEA, I unravelled fascinating insights about my surname, Alder, and my family's migrational history. From learning about the Celtic origin of my name to understanding my ancestors' geographical movements, this DNA analysis has painted a vivid historical picture for me.

I. Alder

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Alder: What does the surname Alder mean?

The last name Alder is of English and German origin and it mainly derives from a geographical or topographical feature, indicating someone who lived near a grove of alder trees. The word "alder" is derived from Old English "alor" or Old High German "elira/erila", both meaning alder tree. It could also mean "older" or "elder," and be given to the elder of two individuals bearing the same personal name. In some instances, it could be an occupational name for someone who worked with alder wood. This surname has variations such as Alders, Aldersey, Elder, Elders, and others across different regions and cultures. Hence, the last name Alder is related to nature and a person's position or work in society.

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Alder: Where does the name Alder come from?

The surname Alder is of Anglo-Saxon origin dating back to the pre-7th century. It is a topographical name, derived from the Old English pre-7th Century "alor" or the Old Norse "alrekr", both meaning 'alder', the tree; hence, it was used for someone who lived by alder trees.

The surname can be found primarily in English-speaking countries such as the United States, England, Canada, and Australia. In England, where it is particularly prevalent, most bearers of the name are found in the southern and eastern regions. Some occurrences of Alder are also found in Germany and other parts of Europe. However, despite its widespread distribution, it is not exceptionally common in any of these countries.

Variations of the surname Alder

The surname Alder may be derived from an occupation, indicating a person who worked with alder trees, which are commonly found across Europe, or it may indicate a person who lived near alder trees. Variants include Old Alder and All Alder. The name could also be spelled as Aldar, Allder, Aulder, Aelder, Aldere, or Elder.

It may potentially trace back to German or Dutch origins, where "Alder" means "older." This could relate it to the German surnames Alder, Elder, Alt, Alte, Alter, and Alten. Dutch variants could be Ouder or Ouderen.

In some Nordic languages, "Alder" is very similar to the word for "eagle," so it may connect to the Icelandic surnames Arnaldur or Arnbjörn, the Swedish names Arnald or Arne, and the Norwegian names Arne or Arnulf.

It's also plausible the name comes from the Hebrew name Eliezer, which means "God's help." This could mean it's related to names such as Elazar, Lazar, Eleazar and Lazarus.

Please remember surname origins can be highly complex and migration, transcription errors, language shifts, and personal choices can greatly impact surname development, so this should be considered a starting point for sibling names.

Famous people with the name Alder

  • Kurt Alder: A German chemist, known for his work on the Diels-Alder reaction, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1950.
  • Lily Alder: A British actress known for her roles in films like "Four Weddings and a Funeral."
  • John Alder: An English professional footballer who has played for clubs such as Newcastle United.
  • Tobias Alder: A German football player who has played for several clubs in his career.
  • Valerie Alder: A British actress and writer known for her work on stage and in British television.
  • Friedrich Alder: An Austrian politician and pacifist, who served as the Secretary General of the League of Nations.
  • Ken Alder: An American historian of science and author, known for his book "The Measure of All Things: The Seven-Year Odyssey and Hidden Error that Transformed the World."
  • Jeremy Alder: A professional esports player known for his time in the Halo scene.
  • Ben Alder: A Canadian artist known for his music and visual art work.
  • Richie Alder: An Australian actor best known for his role in the TV series "Wentworth."
  • Cydney Alder: An actress known for her roles in "Doctor Who" and "Casualty."
  • Iris Alder: A Swiss writer known for her popular novels.

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