Recorded as Darling, Deorling, Dirling, Durling, and others, this is an English surname, although also recorded in both Scotland and Ireland from early times. It originates from the pre 7th century word "deorling", meaning literally dearly loved, and was a personal name of endearment. As Deorling it was popular in both Scotland and Ireland, where it was also used for a time as a term of status to denote the young noble of a house, perhaps the eldest son, on whom all expectation rested. In Scotland it was first recorded as Derlig in 1177, whilst Waldevus Darling or Derlyng was a charter witness in Roxburgh in 1338. In England the personal name was recorded as Derling in Bedfordshire in 1133, although arguably as a surname it is two centuries earlier (see below). Other early examples include William Dierling in the pipe rolls of Devonshire, in 1195; Henry Durling in the tax rolls known as the Feet of Fines of Wiltshire, in 1242, Emma Derlyng in the register of the Monastery of Ramsey, in 1244; Ralph Durlyng in the Subsidy Tax Rolls of Somerset, in 1327; and Richard Dorling in the Subsidy Tax rolls of Worcestershire, in the same year. John Dorling was christened on April 27th 1651, at St. Olave's, Southwark, London. A coat of arms associated with the name has the blazon of a blue shield charged with a gold fesse, three red crosses crosslet fitchee. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Aelmaer Deorling. This was dated 1016, in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles, during the reign of Ethelred the Unready, King of England, 978 - 1016. 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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