This interesting surname is either a diminutive from the nickname "eagle" given to a lordly, impressive, or sharp-eyed man, deriving from the Middle English "egle", Old French "aigle" meaning "eagle", or it is from the female personal name Egelina which is a Norman form of the Old German Agilina. The surname dates back to the late 12th Century, (see below). Further recordings include one Peter Eglyn (1369) "The Calendar of the Letter Books of the City of London". Variations in the idiom of the spelling include Eglin, Eglen, Eagling, Eagland, etc.. One, Richard Eaglan married Joane Lappenwell on January 6th 1644, at St. Dunstan, Stepney, London. William Eagles married Sarah Smith at St. George Mayfair, Westminster, on November 26th 1753, and Jane Eglen, daughter of Edward and Sarah, was christened at St. Saviour, Southwark, London, on June 27th 1790. William Eaglen married Sarah Wakelen at St. Leonards, Shoreditch, London, on April 16th 1860. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alexander Egelin, which was dated 1185, in the "The Pipe Rolls of Suffolk", during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "The Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. 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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