This long-established surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and derives from the Middle English personal names "Al(f)win" and "Elwin", representing a coalescence of various Olde English pre 7th Century given names: "Aelfwine, Aethelwine" and "Ealdwine", all sharing a common second element "wine", friend. The initial elements are respectively "aelf", elf, "aethel", noble, and "eald", old. The personal names Alduin, Elduinus, Aeluuinus, Aeluuin, Alfuuinus and Eluuin all appear in the Domesday Book of 1086, and further examples from Records of St. Benet of Holme, Norfolk, include: Elwine Ecses (1101), and Aelwine presbiter (1127). The surname first appears on record in the late 12th Century (see below). Further early examples include: John Allewin (Yorkshire, 1219); Thomas Alwine (Cambridgeshire, 1260); and Gregory Elwyne (Norfolk, 1274). In the modern idiom the surname has six spelling variations: Alwin, Alwen, Alwyn, Allwyn, Elwin and Elwyn. On January 6th 1577, Marmaduke, son of Thomas Elwin, was christened at Roos, Yorkshire. A notable bearer of the name was Whitwell Elwin (1816 - 1900), prose-writer, and B.A. Caius College, Cambridge, 1839, whose works include five volumes (1871 - 1872) of the edition of Pope completed by Mr. W.J. Courthope. A Coat of Arms granted to the Elwin family is a red shield with three scoops fessways and in base as many silver crescents, the Crest being a demi savage holding over the dexter shoulder a hammer proper. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Osegod Aldwini, which was dated 1195, in the "Pipe Rolls of Berkshire", during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "Richard 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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