Recorded as Palin, Pelling and Pealing, it is said that this unusual and interesting surname is of Welsh origin. If so it derives from the personal name "Heilyn", originally a byname or nickname meaning "wine pourer" or "cup bearer". The modern forms of the surname are the patronymic forms, showing the contracted prefix 'ap-', fused with Heilyn. There was a notable bearer of the name in the 13th Century, Goronwy ap Heilyn who was ambassador to Llywelyn 11nd of Wales in circa 1280. The surname first appears in the mid 16th Century (see below). Early recordings of the surname from the London Church Registers include: Thomas Palin who married Elizabeth Woodward on September 5th 1619, at the Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Westminster; and Mary Pelin who married Brian Batterell on June 9th 1652, at St. Peter-le-Poer's Church. An interesting namebearer was William Palin (1803 - 1882), who received a B.A. in Trinity College, Cambridgeshire, in 1833 and a M.A. in 1851 and was best known as an author and hymn-writer. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Joan Palyne which was dated January 19th 1551. She married Robert Marchall, at the church of St. Andrew's Enfield, Middlesex, during the reign of King Edward V1, known as "The Boy King", 1547 - 1553. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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