Recorded in several forms as shown below, this interesting and uncommon name is English, but of old French medieval origins, of which it has two possible interpretations. Firstly, it may be from the given name "Masselin", which was an old French diminutive form of old Germanic names with the first element "mathal", meaning speech or counsel. Later, "Masselin" was also used as a diminutive of the given name "Matthew", from the hebrew "matityahu", "gift of God", while the feminine form "Mazelina" was a diminutive of "Matilda", an old Germanic compound of "maht", might, strength, with "hildi", battle, strife. Secondly, the modern surname, found as Maslin, Maslen, Masling, may be a metonymic occupational name for a maker and seller of wooden bowls, derived from the Middle English and old French "maselin", bowl or goblet of maple wood, a diminutive of "masere", maple wood. The marriage of William Maslin and Mary Hammond was recorded at St. Bartholomew the Less, London on February 15th 1647, and Thomas Maslen at St Mary Whitechapel, Stepney, on July 1st 1794. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Mazelin. This was dated 1168, in the register of the abbey of St. Benet of Holme, in the county of Norfolk, during the reign of King Henry 11nd of England, 1154 - 1189. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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