This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon pre 7th century origin, and as such is one of the earliest known origins. The derivation is from the word 'geong', which developed into the Middle English 'yunge or yonge', and literally means 'The young one'. Curiously children of the same sex in a medieval family were often given the same name, and to differentiate them a byname would be created and given (usually) to the younger bearers of the name baptismal name! The word was also used as a nickname for one who was 'young in heart', or appeared young, as in the example below.The surname is first recorded in the late 13th century, and from this developed the modern spelling forms which include Young, Younge, Youngs, Yong , Yonge and Ong(e). Early recordings include that of Wilferd seo Iunge, (Wilfred the son of Young) in the 744 a.d. Anglo-Saxon Chronicles, although this is not as a surname, whilst Richard le Yunge of Lichfield, Staffordshire, in 1301, strongly suggests a descriptive nickname which may not have become hereditary. Later recordings taken from the church registers include the marriage of Edmond Young and Katharyn Wendover on September 14th 1568, at Sudbury, and the christening of George, son of William and Frances Young on October 17th 1652 at St. James, Clerkenwell, London. One of the earliest settlers in the colonies of 'New England' was Nathaniell Young, who sailed from the Port of London, aboard the the ship 'Constance', bound for 'Virginea' on October 15th 1635. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter Yonge, which was dated 1296 in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex, during the reign of King Edward 1, known as 'The Hammer of the Scots', 1272 - 1307. 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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