Recorded in various spellings including Tam, Tamm, diminutives Tamlin, Tamblyn, Tambling, Tamplin and the rare patronymics Tamblingson and Tamlinson, this is an English medieval surname. It is a nickname form of the ancient Biblical and Hebrew name Thomas meaning "The twin". Thomas was with John, the most popular given name with the Crusader knights and pilgrims returning from their various unsuccessful expeditions to try to free the Holy Land from the Muslims in the 12th century. At this time it became religious and politically correct to name ones children after biblical figures, and such was the enthusiasm for the new "Christian" names, that almost all the Old English and even Norman names which had survived a thousand years were swept away in a deluge of religious fervour. In the case of Thomas, it is estimated that over hundred variant spellings developed including examples such as Tom to Tomkin and Tomkinson, with -kin meaning Little Tom, and thence by dialect to Tam, Tamin, Tamlin, Tambling and many more. Early examples of recordings include Riccardus Tambelsone in the Poll Tax rolls of Yorkshire in 1379, and John Tamblin at All Hallows church, London Wall on September 13th 1625. The first recorded spelling of the family name in any form may be that of Robert Thomelyne. This was dated 1327, in the Pipe Rolls of Cambridge, during the reign of King Edward 111rd known as the Father of the English 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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