Recorded in England as Rolin, Rolins, Rollin, Rollins, Rollings and possibly others, this interesting surname is of Norman French origins. It derives from either of the pre 7th century personal names Rolf or Rollo, popular throughout the continent in the period of history known as "The Dark Ages" or the 5th to the 11th century a.d. The Normans introduced Rolf and Roul both meaning "Fierce wolf" into England after the famous Conquest of 1066, and Rolin or Rollin is a diminutive to mean "Little fierce wolf". It would seem that this surname may well have had two introductions into the British Isles, with the second being five hundred years after the Conquest. At this time during the 17th century some fifty thousand French protestants known as the Huguenot fled Catholic persecution and set up home in the British Isles. Examples are to be found in the surviving church registers of the city of London including Magdelaine Rolin, the daughter of Andrieu Rolin and his wife the former Elizabeth Gasier, christened on November 17th 1633, at the French Huguenot Church, Threadneedle Street, whilst Francis Rollins married Mary Candy at St Leonards Shoreditch, On Jluly 22nd 1796. The first recorded spelling of the family name in England, is shown to be that of John Rolins. This was dated 1327, in the Subsidy Tax Rolls of Suffolk, during the reign of King Edward 111rd, known as the Father of the Royal Navy, 1327 - 1377. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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