This interesting and long-established surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from the market-town and parish of Darlington near Stockton-on-Tees, Durham. Recorded as "Dearthingtun" circa 1050 in the "Historia de S. Cuthberto"; as "Dearningtun" in an Ecclesiastical History of Durham, dated 1104; and "Derlington" in 1196, the place was so called from the Olde English pre 7th Century "Deornothingtun", settlement of Deornoth's people, from "tun", enclosure, settlement, "ing", people of, and the male given name "Deornoth", composed of the elements "dear", and "noth", darling. Locational surnames, such as this, were originally given to local landowners, and the lord of the manor, and especially as a means of identification to those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. The surname first appears on record in Scotland (see below), and Johan de Derlingtone, parson of the Church of Dunlopy, Forfarshire, rendered homage to the King of England in 1296. A notable early bearer of the name was John of Darlington, a Dominican friar who obtained for Edward 1 from Pope Nicholas 111 the tenth of ecclesiastical revenue assigned for crusading purposes by the council of Lyons. He was consecrated archbishop of Dublin in 1279. On May 24th 1572, Thomas Darlington and Ellen Walker were married at Whitegate, Cheshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ada de Derlingtun, precentor of Ross, which was dated 1281, in the "Registrum episcopatus Moraviensis", Scotland, during the reign of King Alexander 111 of Scotland, 1249 - 1286. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was 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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