Recorded as Lin, Linn, Lyn, Lyne, Lynn and possibly others, this interesting and long established surname has three distinct origins, each with its own history and derivation. Firstly, it may be medieval English, and a locational name from any of the various places named with the British (pre- Roman) "lenna", an ancestor of the Welsh "llyn", meaning lake. These places include Lynn, a hamlet south west of Lichfield in Staffordshire; Lynn in East Shropshire; and any of the three Lynns in the county of Norfolk, being prefixed King's Lynn, South Lynn and West Lynn. Early recordings from this origin include Cecilia de Lynn of Devonshire, in the Hundred Rolls of 1273, and John de Lynne, bailiff of Norwich in the year 1396. The second origin is Celtic Scottish, and locational. It is either from an old manor called Lyne in Peebleshire, or from the ancient castle of Lin in Ayrshire. David, son of Robert de Lyne, made a grant to Neubotle Abbey, circa 1165 - 1214, and William de Lyn held lands in Perthshire in 1246. Finally, it may be a form of the Old Gaelic O' Fhloinn, a personal byname from "flann", meaning "of ruddy complexion". A leading branch of this clan lived on the borders of Connacht and Ulster where the name became O' Loinn, and subsequently O' Lynn or Lynn. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Aedricus de Lenna. This was dated 1177, in the Pipe Rolls of Norfolk, during the reign of King Henry 11nd, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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