This name, with variant spellings Gossling, Goseling, Gostling, Gos(se)lin and Gosland, has two distinct possible origins, the first and most likely being a variant form of an old French personal name imported into England in the forms Goscelin, Gosselin and Jocelin. The name, of complex origin, was very popular among the Normans, and has its roots either in the old German personal name Gauzelin meaning "a descendant of the Goths" i.e. "Gothing" or in the Celtic "Josse", a champion, with the double diminutive ending -el -in. The "g" in Gosling derived from this source is excrescent. The second possibility is that the name originated as a nickname for a keeper of geese, from the Medieval English "gosling", a young goose. One, Henry Goseling, (witness) was recorded in the 1260 "Assize Court Rolls of Cambridgeshire". Ralph Gosling (1693 - 1758), topographer, published the earliest known map of Sheffield in 1732. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Goselin, which was dated 1185, in the "Knight's Templars' Records", Lincolnshire, during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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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