Recorded in a number of forms including Esler, Eseler, Esslinger, Esselin, Escellin, Eslinger, and possibly others, this is a surname of German origins. It was either a medieval ooccupational surname for a keeper of mules and donkeys from the pre 7th century word "esl" meaning a donkey, or it was a nickname for an actor, one who played the part of a fool or jester in the famous travelling theatres of those ancient times. Occupational names were amongst the first to be created, although they rarely became hereditary until or if, a son followed his father into the same profession or position. In this case this surname is one of the very first recorded in Germany, which were on average two centuries later than their British equivalents. The first known recording is believed to be that of Hainrich Eselinger of Rottwell in the year1200 and Dietrich der Eseler of Fussen, in 1366.
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