This interesting and unusual surname has its origins in the female personal name "Adeline" or "Adelina", which was introduced into England by the Normans at the time of the Conquest in 1066. The derivation is from the old German "adal" meaning nobility, which formed the first element in many medieval personal names such as "Albert" from "Adalbert". The change from "A" to "E" is explained by the influence of the old English pre 7th Century personal names beginning with "Aethel", which became "Adel" or "Edel" in Middle English.The given name "Edelina" is registered in the 1214 Curia Regis Rolls of Kent and "Athelia" or "Edelina" appear in the 1221 Assize Court Rolls of Warwickshire. The surname is first recorded in the early half of the 13th Century (see below). One, John Edelyne, appears in the 1273 Hundred Rolls of Cambridgeshire. In the modern idiom, the surname has many variant spellings including Edlyn, Edlin, Edlyne, Edling, Eadlan, Edland, etc.. On July 29th 1787, Lydia, daughter of Henry and Lydia Edland was christened at St. Luke Old Street, Finsbury, and Thomas, son of John and Matilda Edland was christened on June 22nd 1836 at St. George the Martyr, Southwark, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Edelin, which was dated 1239, in the "Records of the Monastery of Ramsey", Norfolk, during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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