This most interesting and unusual surname, with variant spellings Tinlin, Tinlinn, Tindlen etc., is of locational origin from a lost village in Scotland or from "Townley" in Lancashire or "Tinley" in Northumberland. One source describes the name as originating in the Rosburgshire area of Scotland. This lost village, with Townley and Tinley derive from the same old English pre 7th Century elements "tun", enclosure, village and "leah", wood or clearing. The surname itself first appears in the late 16th Century (see below). The London Church Registers record the christening of Maria, daughter of Guilielmi and Janae Tinlen at St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Westminster on July 4th 1675. One George Tinline married Margaret Emmerson on January 21st 1703. The earliest known recording of the surname in Scotland is that of Thomas Tinling in Nether Ancrum in 1711, according to the "Services of Heirs", Roxburghsire (1636 - 1849). A feat of archery by one Watt Tinlinn, a retainer of the Bucclench family is described in a note to Scott's "Lay of the last Minstrel". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Tyndlen (marriage to Margaret Mychelson), which was dated November 14th 1585, at Hexham, Northumberland, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st, "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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