There is very considerable confusion about this surname, which is hardly surprising when it is realised that it could have Anglo-Saxon, Irish, or Olde English pre 7th century origins.Recorded in a variety of spellings including Hallan, Hallen, Halen, Hallin, Haling, Halling, Hawling, and possibly others, it is most probably a form of "halla", a word used throughout Northern Europe in slightly different spellings to indicate a large dwelling, a council meeting place, or a manorial hall. In Ireland though, the name which is usually recorded as Hallin or Hallion derives from the Olde Gaelic O'hAilain, meaning "The descendant of Rock", the latter being the (nick)name of the original chief. To add to the confusion, in England there is little doubt that some nameholders descend from the surname Allen, to which a Middle English dialectal "H" has been added, probably to aid pronunciation. An example is John Halen, a witness at St Margarets church, Westminster, on August 31st 1552. Other examples taken from the various surviving registers of the post Medieval period include Alice Hawling, who married John Bond at Allhallows church, London Wall, on January 7th 1620, and Richard Halling, a witness at the christening of his daughter Sara, at St Margarets, Westminster, on December 19th 1680. The first of all recordings of the surname in any spelling, is believed to be that of Warin de Halla, in the 1178 Pipe Rolls of the county of Essex, England. This was during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The church builder", 1154 - 1189.. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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