Recorded in over forty spelling forms ranging from Lind, Linde, Linden, Line, Lynd, Lyne, Lingner, Verlinden, Van Lint, Terlinden and Lindman, this famous surname is of Germanic pre 7th century origins. It has two possible sources. Firstly, the surname may be a topographical name for someone who lived by a linden tree, the old word for the modern lime. Quite why lime trees should have produced such a popular surname is unclear, but it may be that the lime was associated with pagan religions. Certainly topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages.Secondly for some nameholders at least, the origination is from the medieval female given name "Line", an aphetic form of Catherine, and of various other names, such as Emmeline and Adeline. These may be regarded as Frankish and later Norman French names. The first known recording is probably that of "Lina" (without surname), in the 1181 'Pipe Rolls' of Oxfordshire, England. The surname is first recorded in Germany in the 13th Century, and early recordings include Cunrad Linde of Beuren, who appears in the charters of that town in 1305. Other recordings in England include the marriage of John Line and Joan Withy on August 6th 1549, at St. Lawrence Jewry, London, whilst amongst the early settlers in the New World was Colonel Christopher Line, who is recorded as owning two hundred and seventy-two acres of land in Barbados on December 23rd 1679. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hainrich Linde of Konstanz, in the city register for the year 1254. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. Through the centuries surnames in every country have continued to "develop", often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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