This unusual and interesting surname of English origin is derived from the medieval female given name Line, an aphetic form of Catheline and of various other names, such as Emmeline and Adeline, containing the Anglo Norman French diminutive suffix -line. The surname dates back to the late 13th Century, (see below). Further recordings include Reginald Lynes (1340), witness, "The Assize Rolls of Cambridgeshire". Variations in the idiom of the spelling include Lyness, Lynness, Lines, Lyne, etc.. One Elizabeth Lynnes married Humfrey Leedes at St. Dunstan, Stepney on June 5th 1611. Bethia, daughter of Edmond Lyness, was christened on June 25th 1624, at St. Katherine by the Tower, London. Katherine, daughter of William Lynes, was christened on January 1st 1634, at St. Margaret, Westminster, and John Lyness married Ann Turner on August 18th 1784, at St. Giles Cripplegate, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Lyne, which was dated 1296, The Subsidy Rolls of Sussex, during the reign of King Edward 1, "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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