This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and has two possible sources. Firstly, the surname may be a topographical name for someone who lived by a lime tree, derived from the Olde English pre 7th Century "lind", Middle English "line", lime tree. Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages. The surname may also derive from the medieval female given name "Line", an aphetic form of Cateline and of various other names, such as Emmeline and Adeline, containing the Anglo-Norman French diminutive suffix "-line". "Lina" (without surname) is noted in the 1181 Pipe Rolls of Oxfordshire. The surname is first recorded in the late 13th Century (see below) and can also be found as Lyne, Lines, Lynes, Lind(er), Lynde and Lynds. Recordings from London Church Registers include the marriage of John Line and Joan Withy on August 6th 1549, at St. Lawrence Jewry, and the marriage of Richard Line and Isabell Tavernor on February 16th 1577, at St. Nicholas Acon. Among the early settlers in the New World was Colonel Christopher Line, who is recorded as owning two hundred and seventy-two acres of land in the Barbados on December 23rd 1679. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Lyne, which was dated 1296, in the "Pipe 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.

Surnames reference. 2013.

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