This rare and interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a variant of the locational name Selling(e). Selling in Kent was recorded as "Setlinges" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and as "Selling" in the 1206 Feet of Fines, and Sellinge in Kent was recorded as "Sedlinges" in the Domesday Book, and as "Sellinges" in the 1226 Assize Court Rolls. Both placenames share the same meaning and derivation which is the Olde English pre 7th Century "seth(e)l", abode, residence, with "ing", people of; hence, "place of the settlers". During the Middle Ages, when migration for the purpose of job-seeking was becoming more common, people often took their former village name as a means of identification, thus resulting in a wide dispersal of the name. In the modern idiom the surname can be found as Selling, Sellings, Sellin, Sellan, Sellen and Sellens. Recordings of the surname from English Church Registers include: the marriage of Johanes Sellen and Joanna Thomas on September 5th 1582, at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster, London; the christening of Mary, daughter of Humfry and Jane Sellen, on September 12th 1680, at St. Mildred Bread Street, London; and the marriage of John Sellen and Sarah Cook on May 14th 1704, at Wichling, Kent. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Gregory Sylinge, which was dated October 15th 1544, witness at the christening of his son, Tobyas, at St. Mary Woolnoth, London, during the reign of King Henry V111, known as "Good King Hal", 1509 - 1547. 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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