This interesting surname is of Scottish origin, and is a locational name from the lands of Echline in the parish of Dalmeny, West Lothian. The placename is believed to derive from the Gaelic "each", horse, and the Celtic "linn", deep pool; hence, "deep pool where horses drank". During the Middle Ages when migration for the purpose of job-seeking was becoming more common, people often took their former village name as a means of identification, thus resulting in a wide dispersal of the name. A horse was purchased from Johannes de Eghelyn in 1312, John de Eychlin was a charter witness in 1332, and Johan de Echlyne was vicar of Kinneff in 1407. John Echline of Pittadrow, professor of philosophy in St. Leonard's College, St. Andrews, died in 1603. A branch of the Echlin's established themselves in County Down early in the 17th Century, twenty-six of the name are recorded as students of Dublin University, many of whom had distinguished careers. On December 26th 1715, the marriage of Arthur Echlin and Grizelle Smart took place at St. Martin in the Fields, London. A Coat of Arms granted to the family in Scotland is a shield divided in quarter: the first quarter is gold with a red stag in chief; the second depicts a silver hound in pursuit on a blue field: the third is a black lymphad, with red flags on a silver background; and the fourth is gold with a fess chequy blue and silver. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert de Eghlin, Edinburghshire, which was dated 1296, in the "Calendar of Documents relating to Scotland", during the reign of John Balliol, King of Scotland, 1292 - 1296. 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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