This is a famous name of pre 7th century Old English origins. It derives from the original word "sucan" meaning to suck, and was in ancient times a baptismal and patronymic name of endearment. Similar such endearment surnames are Darling, Dear and Love, and all became popular medieval surnames in their own right. The Sucklings nameholders have a long history of attainment. Sir John Suckling of Norfolk (1609 - 1642), was both poet and soldier, and famous as the foremost "gallant" of his day, whilst a century and a half later Captain Maurice Suckling also of Norfolk, was both the uncle of Admiral Lord Nelson (1759 - 1805), and responsible for giving him his first midshipman position, and Controller of the Royal Navy 1775 - 1778, whilst another Suckling, Alfred Suckling, wrote the History of Suffolk, 1846.The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Sokeling. This was dated 1195, in the Pipe Rolls of the county of Berkshire, during the reign of King Richard 1st, known as The Lionheart, 1189 - 1199. 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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