This most interesting surname is of Old Germanic origin, and is one of the many surnames which have originated from the Germanic personal name "Gautselin, Goz(e)lin", Old French "Goscelin, Gosselin, Joscelin", which was known in England before the Norman Conquest (1066) but was spread by the Normans, among whom it was very popular. The personal name itself is a diminutive from a short form of the various compound names aving as their first element the tribal name "Gaut" (apparently the same as the Olde English pre 7th Century "Geatas", the Scandinavian people to which Beowulf belonged, and also akin to the name of the Goths). In some instances, the surname may have derived as a diminutive form of the Old Norman French "Josse", from the Breton personal name "Iodoc", lord, the name of a Breton prince and saint, whose fame spread through France and England, after the Conquest. Other surnames from these sources include Jocelyn, Joscelyne, Josselyn, Joselin, Goslin, Gosselin and Gosling. The personal name appears in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Gozelinus" and "Gos(c)elinus". Early examples of the surname include Walter Joslein (Yorkshire, 1195) and Ralph Jocelin (Norfolk, 1198). Henry Josselyn (died 1683) was deputy-governor of Maine, U.S.A. in 1645. In London at St. Gregory by St. Paul's, Anne Joslyn married William Milday, on May 19th 1619. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Goselin, which was dated 1185, in the "Records of Templars in England in the 12th Century", 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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