This surname of OLIN was a German occupational name for an extractor of linseed oil. The oil was extracted from linseed by striking the grains with a heavy wooden hammer. The name was derived from the Old German OLI (oil) and SLAHEN (strike). The name has numerous variant spellings which include OHLEN, OHLIN, OHLENSLAGER, OHLENSCHLAGER, OHLIGSCHLAGER, OILIESLAGER and OLIESLEGER. Surnames are divided into four categories, from occupations, nicknames, baptismal and locational. All the main types of these are found in German-speaking areas, and names derived from occupations and from nicknames are particularly common. A number of these are Jewish. Patronymic surnames are derived from vernacular Germanic given names, often honouring Christian saints. Regional and ethnic names are also common. The German preposition 'von (from) or 'of', used with habitation names, is taken as a mark of aristocracy, and usually denoted proprietorship of the village or estate from where they came. Some members of the nobility affected the form VON UND ZU with their titles. In eastern Germany there was a heavy influence both from and on neighbouring Slavonic languages. Many Prussian surnames are of Slavonic origin. A notable member of the name was Bertil Gotthard OHLIN (1899-1979) the Swedish economist and politician, born in Klippan. He was educated in Sweden and at Harvard, and was professor at Copenhagen between 1925 and 1930, and at Stockholm between 1930 and 1965. He was a member of the Swedish parliament from 1938 to 1970 and leader of the Liberal party from 1944 to 1967. He was awarded the 1977 Nobel prize for economics. Because of the close relationship between the English and German languages, some Germans are able to transform their names to the English form just by dropping a single letter. Many Germans have re-spelt their names in America. After the start of the first World War, Germans in great numbers Anglicized their names in an effort to remove all doubt as to their patriotism. Afterwards some changed back, and then during World War II the problem became acute once more, and the changing started all over again, although not with as much intensity. Many immigrants from Germany settled in Pennsylvania.
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