Recorded as Eglinton, Eglington, Egglington, Eglentine and possibly others this is a Scottish surname although one long recorded in England. According to the famous Victorian etymologist Canon Charles Barsdsley writing in the year 1880, the name originates from an estate known originally as the lands of Eglinton. This is now a village and castle near the town of Greenock, in Ayreshire, Scotland. The derivation is from the tribal name Esgwulf also found in the English villages below. Whatever the true origin, the surname is medieval, and first recorded in the year 1205, when Brice de Eglunstone as spelt, was granted twenty acres by the borough of Irvine. The status of the family rose sharply over the next ninety years and in 1296 Rauf de Eglytone, the owner of Eglinton Castle was summoned to Edinburgh to render homage to the government of John Baliol. Be that as it may some holders of the name migrated south in the 17th century, and recordings from early surviving church registers in the city of London include Joan Egglington, who was christened on September 22nd 1616, at St. Dunstan's Stepney, whilst Magrett, the daughter of John Eglington, was christened at St. Giles' Cripplegate, on September 6th 1637. According to some researchers, the surname may for some nameholders, be English. If so it is a dialectal from either the two villages called Edington in Somerset and Wiltshire, or the similar Egginton in Derbyshire. 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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