The surname MASLIN was derived from the Old French word 'maselin' a maker of maple wooden-bowls. The name was brought into England in the wake of the Norman Conquest of 1066. Early records of the name mention Richer Mazelin who was documented in 1168, County Norfok. Ricardus filius Mascelin was recorded in 1187, Berkshire. William Masselyn was documented in 1327, County Cornwall. John Mazelyn of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Before the 1066 Conquest names were rare in England, the few examples found were mainly adopted by those of the clergy or one who had taken holy orders. In 1086 the conquering Duke William of Normandy commanded the Domesday Book. He wanted to know what he had and who held it, and the Book describes Old English society under its new management in minute detail. It was then that surnames began to be taken for the purposes of tax-assessment. The nobles and the upper classes were first to realise the prestige of a second name, but it was not until the 15th century that most people had acquired a second name. Later instances of the name mention Rachel, daughter of John Maslin who was baptised at St. Michael, Cornhill, London in 1629. Thomas More and Esther Maslin were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1772. William Maslen and Ann Alloway were married at the same church in the year 1780. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the flowing and draped garment worn over the armour. The earliest French hereditary surnames are found in the 12th century, at more or less the same time as they arose in England, but they are by no means common before the 13th century, and it was not until the 15th century that they stabilized to any great extent; before then a surname might be handed down for two or three generations, but then abandoned in favour of another. In the south, many French surnames have come in from Italy over the centuries, and in Northern France, Germanic influence can often be detected.
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