This surname ENSLIN was a Portugese, French and English baptismal name 'the son of Ancelin or Anselm' an ancient font name, originally from a Germanic personal name composed of the elements ANS (god) and HELM (protection, helmet). This was a distinctively Langobardic names, and was also common in Italy. Among its bearers were several famous medieval churchmen. The name was brought to France and England by St. Anselm (circa. 1033-1109), known as the Father of Scholasticism. He was born in Aosta, joined the Benedictine order at Bec in Normandy, and in 1093 became archbishop of Canterbury. The name is also spelt ANSELL, ANSILL, ENSLE, ENSILIN and ANSELM, to name but a few. Early records of the name in England mention Ansell de Seleden and William Ansel, both documented in Yorkshire in 1273. Aunsellus de Bray of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Nowell Ansell and Mary Snipe were married in Westminster, London in the year 1667. Over the centuries, most people in Europe have accepted their surname as a fact of life, as irrevocable as an act of God, however much the individual may have liked or disliked the surname, they were stuck with it, and people rarely changed them by personal choice. A more common form of variation was in fact involuntary, when an official change was made, in other words, a clerical error. Among the humbler classes of European society, and especially among illiterate people, individuals were willing to accept the mistakes of officials, clerks and priests as officially bestowing a new version of their surname, just as they had meekly accepted the surname they had been born with. In North America, the linguistic problems confronting immigration officials at Ellis Island in the 19th century were legendary as a prolific source of Anglicization. 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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