Recorded in several spellings including Sellen, Sellens, Sellin, Selling, Sellings, and others, this is an English surname. It is locational from two villages called Selling and Sellinge, both in the county of Kent. Selling was first was recorded as "Setlinges" in the famous Domesday Book of 1086, and Sellinge was recorded as "Sedlinges" in the Domesday Book. Both placenames and hence the surname share the same meaning and derivation. This is from the Olde English pre 7th century word "sethel", meaning a residence, with "-ing", meaning 'the people of'; hence the literal meaning of the place of the settlers, perhaps a reference to Anglo-Saxons or Vikings. 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. Surviving recordings from the church registers include: the christening of William, the son of Arthur and Ellizabeth Sellens, on December 3rd 1682, at St. Giles Cripplegate, London; the marriage of William Sellings and Mary Allen on July 11th 1724 at Henham, Essex. On April 17th 1635, Joan sellin left the port of London on the ship 'Mathew' bound for the colonies of New England. This was during the reign of King Charles 1st of England, known as "The Martyr", 1625 - 1649. 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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