This is an English locational surname. Specificially it originates from the ancient village of Bowling, now part of the urban mass of the city of Bradford, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, where it is widely recorded. The origin of the place name is uncertain. It would seem to be tribal in that the 'ing' suffix would usually mean 'the people of' but this is generally followed by 'tun' to indicate settlement or village. The earliest known recording of the place name is in the famous Domesday Book of 1086 when it ap[pears as Bollinc, and later in the year 1150 as Bolling. The word 'bolla' in Olde English does mean a bowl as in a depression in the ground, a pit or quarry, and this would seem to fit with the area which is very hilly. In which case it may have literally described 'the people who lived in the bowl', although Ekwalls 'Oxford Dictionary of English Place Names' suggests that the origin may be from 'hlinc' meaning a hill, to give the bowl or valley on the hill. The surname is later, and examples taken from surviving Yorkshire church registers include Robert Bowling at Halifax Parish Church, on September 30th 1582, and Edward Bowling whose daughter Barbary, was christened at the Parish Church, Bradford on December 22nd 1633.
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