This ancient name is of 1066 Norman-French origins in England, although its antecedents are even earlier. It derives from the pre 8th Century Saxon "Walho", a personal name which itself is an aphetic form of "Waltheof", meaning "the wealthy one", and as such was either a nickname or was baptismal. Perhaps not surprisingly the name was very popular, and in various spelling forms developed into the later medieval surname. In its form as "Wakelin" it is a double diminutive, i.e., the son of the kin of Walho, and includes both Saxon suffixes "el" and "in", shortened forms of little and kinsman. The name is first recorded in the 1086 Domesday Book for London as "Walcelin", and whilst this may be a surname form, this is not proven, and most unlikely. The recording as shown below is believed to be the first "surname", others include Nicholas Walklin of Somerset in 1225, and Andrew Walkelyn in the Rolls of Norfolk for 1273. An interesting recording was Walchelin the Moneyer in the Rolls of Henry 11 (1154 - 1189). 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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