Recorded in several forms and based upon Norman-French, this is a most unusual surnames. It derives, not as may be thought, from the name "Lyn or Lynn", but from the more ancient word "line". This pre 8th century word is a fused form of two compounds, the first is "kin", a diminutive describing a close relationship such as son or cousin, and "little", itself a diminutive and again describing a close relationship of endearment, but not usually kinship. With both "kin" and "little", a major contraction has taken place to leave "line", although this form of corrupted development in medieval times was not unusual, and continued in a slightly different form with Italian surnames into the 20th Century.Whilst Line, Lyn(n), or Linn, developed as surnames they also grew into other baptismal forms such as Adelina, Emelina and Leceline, although in most cases these have now shrunk to Adel, Ema or Emily and Lesley. In the case of Lyn(n) this also developed its own diminutives as Lynett, Linnit, Linnett, Linnitt, Linock and Lynock. Examples of the early surname recordings include: Thomas Linot in the Assize Court Rolls of Kent in 1317, whilst Walter Lynock appears in the London Rolls of 1389. Later, in 1589, Joane Lynett was christened at St. Giles' Church, Cripplegate, London, on January 21st of that year. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Linet. This was dated 1275, in the "Hundred Rolls of Sussex", during the reign of King Edward 1st of England, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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