Recorded in many forms as shown below , this is a surname of Grecian origins. Introduced into Northern Europe by returning Crusaders from the Hol;y Land in the 12th century, it derives from the word "katharos" meaning pure and clean, though the later French femal name Catherine, to diminutives such as Caitlin, Catlin (English) and Cattini (Italian). The first known namebearer was the 4th century St. Katharine of Alexandria. According to ancient legend she was an Egyptian princess so learned that she confounded the arguments of all the wise men with her defence of Christianity. The surname is first recorded at the end of the 12th century, (see below), and amongst the many interesting name bearers was Sir Robert Catlin, the serjeant-at-law and chief-justice of the Queen's Bench from 1559 to 1574. Other recordings include on March 3rd 1570, John Caitlin, who was christened at St. Mary Whitechapel, Stepney; and Elizabeth Catlin who married Thomas Tounsend, at West Dereham, Norfolk; on June 1st 1572. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Catelin. This was was dated 1198, in the Fine Court rolls of Norfolk, during the reign of King Richard 1st known as "The Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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