Recorded in many spellings as shown below, this is an English surname. It originates from the male given name Absalom, ultimately from the Hebrew "Avshalom", a compound of the elements "av", meaning father, and "shalom", peace. This was the name borne by the third son of King David, who rebelled against him, and eventually met his death when his long hair got caught in a tree as he was fleeing in his chariot. This story was a favourite one in medieval England, and led to the use of the name as a nickname for a man with a fine head of hair. The surname may also have originated from this use. Absolom, with variant forms Absolon, Apsolon, Abselon and Absolom, was a very popular given name from the late 12th Century, and a quotation from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales reads, "Now was ther of that Chirche a parish clerk, The which that was ycleped Absolon ... Curl was his heer and as the gold it shoon". One Absolon filius (son of) Apsolon was noted in the 1199 Feet of Fines for Cambridgeshire, and a Thomas Absolon was noted in the Calendar of Letter Books for the City of London, dated 1281. In the modern idiom the name is spelt: Absalom, Absolem, Absolom, Absolon, Aspenlon, Aspland, Asplen, Asplin, Aspling, Ashplant and Esplin. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Stephen Abselon, which was dated 1208, in the "Curia Regis Rolls of Oxfordshire", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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