1 English: from one or more Middle English personal names variously written Alger, Algar, Alcher, Aucher, etc. These represent a falling together of at least three different Continental Germanic and Old English names: Adalgar ‘noble spear’ (Old English Æðelgār), Albgar ‘elf spear’ (Old English Ælfgār), and Aldgar ‘old spear’ (Old English (E)aldgār). The Continental Germanic forms were brought to England from France by the Normans. Compare the French cognate Auger . In Norfolk and northern England, the source is probably the Old Norse name Álfgeirr ‘elf spear’. The modern English surname is found mainly in East Anglia.2 German: from a reduced form of the Germanic personal name Adalgar (see 1 above).
Dictionary of American Family Names © Patrick Hanks 2003, 2006.