This rare and interesting surname is of Scandinavian and in some cases German origin, and is from a medieval given name, derived from the Latin "Valentinus", a derivative of "valere", to be strong, healthy. The personal name was never common in England until the end of the 12th Century; this was probably a result of French influence. The name was borne by a 3rd Century saint and martyr, whose feast falls on February 14th, the date of a traditional celebration of spring going back to the Roman fertility festival of Juno Februata. The first recording of the personal name was in the Curia Rolls for Wiltshire in 1198 as Valentinus. The modern surname can be found as Valentine, Val(l)entin, Vallentine, Val(l)intine, Wallentin and Valentin. Among the sample recordings in London is the marriage of Mary Wallentyne and Masthew Elye on January 4th 1608 at St. Katherine-by-the-Tower, in Germany, Dorethee Wilhelmie Wallentin was christened on February 5th 1826 at Sankt Georgen, Berlin Stadt, Brandenburg. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Matilda Valentyn, which was dated 1251, The Pipe Rolls of Huntingdonshire, during the reign of King Henry 111, "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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