This interesting surname is of early medieval English origin, and is a double diminutive of the male given name Jack; Jack-el-in. Jack derives from the Old French personal name "Jacques", the usual French form of the Latin "Jacobus", Jacob (from the Hebrew "Yaakov"). In the Bible, this is the name of the younger twin brother of Esau, who took advantage of the latter's hunger and impetuousness to persuade him to part with his birthright "for a mess of potage". The name is traditionally interpreted as coming from the Hebrew "akev", heel, and Jacob is said to have been born holding on to Esau's heel. The surname generated a great many variant forms, some of which became confused with those from "John". Jakelinus (without surname) is noted in the 1219 Book of Fees for Yorkshire. The surname is first recorded in the late 12th Century (see below), and can also be found as Jackling and Jackalin. Edmund Jakelin is listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Suffolk (1327). Recordings of the surname from London Church Registers include: the marriage of Alexander Jacklin and Elizabeth Thomas on September 29th 1712, at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster; the christening of Benjamin, son of Thomas and Mary Jacklin, on February 20th 1715 at St. Dunstan's, Stepney; and the christening of William, son of William and Mary Jacklin, on January 27th 1726 at St. Margaret's, Westminster. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Elias Jakelyn, which was dated 1296, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Sussex", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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