This Dutch surname of CONKLING was originally derived from the Dutch word KONKELEN, designating one who plots or conspires. It was also a name given to a petty king of chieftan. Perhaps the name designated one who plotted and conspired. The names relating to action have been popular among all peoples throughout the surname period. The Dutch language is most closely related to Low German, and its surnames have been influenced both by German and French naming practices. The preposition 'van' is found especially with habitation names, and the 'de' mainly with nicknames. A notable member of the name was Roscoe CONKLING (1829-88) the American politician, born in Albany, New York. He sat in congress as a Republican, 1852-62; in the senate, 1867, 1873, 1879. In 1876 he received 93 votes for the presidential nomination; in 1880, supporting Grant and opposing Baine, he split the Republican party. When the first immigrants from Europe went to America, the only names current in the new land were Indian names which did not appeal to Europeans vocally, and the Indian names did not influence the surnames or Christian names already possessed by the immigrants. Mostly the immigrant could not read or write and had little or no knowledge as to the proper spelling, and their names suffered at the hands of the government officials. The early town records are full of these mis-spelt names most of which gradually changed back to a more conventional spelling as education progressed. In 1964, The United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Social Security Administration made a report of the 'Distribution of Surnames of the Social Security Account Number File'. It was found that there were 1,091,522 different surnames in the file. The surname of CONKLING ranked as number 1039, and there were 25,375 persons of the name. In the Middle Ages heraldry came into use as a practical matter. It originated in the devices used to distinguish the armoured warriors in tournament and war, and was also placed on seals as marks of identity. As far as records show, true heraldry began in the middle of the 12th century, and appeared almost simultaneously in several countries of Western Europe.
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