This interesting surname is of Norman origin, introduced into England after the Conquest of 1066. The name derives from the medieval given name "Walchelin", an Anglo-Norman French diminutive of the Germanic byname "Walho". "Walho" is from a Germanic root cognate with the Olde English pre 7th Century "wealh", foreign, and was a name given to a foreigner. The creation of names from nicknames was a common practice in the Middle Ages, and many modern-day names derive from medieval nicknames referring to personal characteristics, as in this instance the "foreigner"."Walcelin" (without surname) is noted in the Domesday Book of 1086, and Ricardus filius (son of) Walkelini is listed in the Documents from the Abbey of Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk (1119). The surname is first recorded in the early half of the 13th Century (see below), and can also be found as Wakelin(g), Wakling, Walklin(g) and Walklyn. Nicholas Walklin was witness in the Assize Court Rolls of Somerset (1225) and John Wakelam is noted in the Feet of Fines of Staffordshire (1544). Margaret Waklam married Richard Lane on October 9th 1558 at St. Martin Orgar's, London, and Thomas Wakelam married Elinor Cheese on October 29th 1633 at St. Leonard's, Bridgenorth, Shropshire. The Coat of Arms most associated with the family is a silver shield with five gold lions rampant on a black cross, the Crest being a gold lion rampant, in the dexter paw a red tulip slipped green. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Wakelin, which was dated 1221, in the "Curia Regis Rolls of London", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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