This very interesting surname is generally regarded as Welsh, but this is probably not the case. It is true that the baptismal name "Emlyn", is one of the seven original and royal Welsh names, and as such appears in the town name Newcastle Emlyn, and the village of Emlyn in the former county of Carmarthen. However there is little evidence of surnames originating from this source, there being only one early recording. This was of John Emlyn, christened in Carmarthen on December 16th 1623. That the name is locational surname is almost certain, but equally certainly for most name holders, it is not from Wales, but from a now "lost" medieval village, in the county of Lincolnshire, in England. This village may have been called Emlyng or even Imming, and if so may have been an off-shoot from the town name of Immingham. Immingham means the place (ham) of the Imma people (ing), a local tribe of the pre 5th century. What is certain is that many people called Emlyn, Emlin, Emling, Imling, Imlin and Imlyn, were recorded in Lincolnshire in the 16th century, too many to have possibly emigrated from somewhere else. These early recordings, with their erratic spellings, include Jone Emlyn, the son of John Emlyn, christened at Moulton, near Spalding, on May 17th 1588, and Ane Imlin, christened at South Ormsby, on February 17th 1591. The first known recording is believed to be that of Edwarde Emlyng, whose son John was born at South Ormsby, Lincolnshire, England, on May 2nd 1562. This was during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603.
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