This interesting name is of Medieval English origin and is a variant of any of the places that get their names from the Old English pre 7th Century "hoesal", or the Old Norse "hesli", hazel, with "denu", a valley, for example, "Heselden", (Durham), "Haselden", (Sussex) and Haslingden", (Lancashire). The earliest recording of the place in Durham is recorded in 1050 as "Heseldene", and the place in Lancashire as "Heselingedon" in the Close Rolls of Lancashire for 1241. In the modern idiom the variants include Hazelden(e), Hazeltine, Haseldine, Hesleden and Hestleton. Amongst the recorded examples in London is, Samuel Heseltine who married Mary Davis on March 6th, 1782 at St. Bartholomew-the-Less, London. A Coat of Arms granted to the family consists of a red shield thereon a bull's head cabossed in silver. The Crest being a Swan, with wings endorsed silver, crowned with an gold antique crown. The motto: Pro aris et focis, translating as: For our altars and our homes. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert de Heseldene, which was dated 1243, in the Assize Rolls of Durham, during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216-1272. 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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