Recorded in several spellings including Polen, Pollen, Pollin, Pawlin, Paulin, Pawling, Poulin and others, this interesting name is English and medieval. It has several possible origins. The first and most usual is as a diminutive from the given name "Paul", itself from the Roman (Latin) name "Paulus", meaning small. The modern spelling means "a descendant of little Paul". Paul was a highly popular name in early Christendom being adopted by the Pharisee Saul of Tarsus, after his conversion to Christianity on the road to Damascus, in circa 34 a.d. A second possible origin is locational from a place in England called Paull in the county of Yorkshire. In this case the derivation is from the Olde English word "pagol", meaning a marker pole put up, usually to mark eith a ford or a ferry across a river. Examples of rhe name recording taken from surviving registers of Greater London include: Julyan Pollen who married William More on February 3rd 1550 at St. Mary Woolnoth, in the city of London, and Jone, the daughter of Peter Pawlin, who was christened on March 1st 1567 at St. Margaret's, Westminster. A coat of arms granted to the Pollen family, of Redenham in Hampshire, has the blazon of a silver field charged with a gold bend cotised, between six silver lozenges, each charged with a black escallop. 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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