This interesting name is of early medieval English origin, and is one of the patronymic forms of the surname Rawling, developed from the Middle English given name "Rawlin". The personal name was adopted from the Old French "Raulin", itself a double diminutive of "Raw", with the Anglo-Norman French suffixes "-el" and "-in". Raw was one of the many variant forms of the male personal name Ralph, in origin an Old Norse name composed of the Germanic elements "rad", counsel, advice, with "wolf", wolf. This was first introduced into England by Scandinavian settlers in the Old Norse form "Rathulfr", and was reinforced after the Conquest of 1066 by the Norman forms "Raulf, Radulf". The English given name is first recorded in Yorkshire in 1277, as "Raulyn", and one William Raulyn is recorded in Oxfordshire in the Eynsham Cartulary of 1290. Among the recordings of the name in London Church Registers is the marriage of Edward Rawlings and Alice Hignett, at St. James', Duke's Place, on April 2nd 1668. A Coat of Arms granted to the Rawlings family is per pale white and black on a chevron between three martlets as many crescents all counterchanged. The Crest is a black ram passant attired gold. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Rawlynes, which was dated 1343, in the "Ancient Deeds" of Warwickshire, during the reign of Edward 111, known as "The Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377. 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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