This unusual surname is of mixed Old Norse and Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name either from Osleston in Derbyshire, or from some minor, unrecorded or lost place believed to have been situated in Yorkshire because of the high prevalence of early recordings in that county. The Derbyshire place, recorded as "Oslavestune" in the Domesday Book of 1086, is so called from the Old Norse personal name "Oslaf" meaning "God-love", with the Olde English pre 7th Century "tun", farm, settlement; hence, "Oslaf's tun". Yorkshire Church Registers record the surname under the variant spellings: Asselton, Asleton, Ossulton, Eseltine, Os(s)elton and Usletine, which suggests the existence of a place called Asselton or Usselton. Asselby, a village in the East Riding of Yorkshire, has as its initial elements the Old Norse personal name "Aeskil" meaning "God-kettle", and Usselby in Lincolnshire has the Old Norse "Asulf" as a first element, reflecting the strong Scandinavian influence in that area. On February 27th 1583 Robert, son of Edward Esseltine, was christened in Howden, Yorkshire, and on December 7th 1602 Jaine Asselton, an infant, was christened in Stainton (Cleveland). The christening of George, son of Thomas and Elizabeth Oselton, took place in Catterick, Yorkshire, on September 13th 1822. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Phillis Usletine, which was dated February 3rd 1560, christened at Holme upon Spalding Moor, Yorkshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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