This famous name, with the spellings of Bollin(s), Bulleyn, Bullon, B(o)ullin, Bullant(t), Bullent, Boullen, and Boleyn, is of French locational origin from the town of Boulogne in Northern France. The above spellings evolved from the English pronounced form of the name. Boulogne, recorded in Latin sources as Bononia, is believed to derive from the Latin 'bonus' meaning 'good' or from a Gallic element 'bona', a foundation, probably so called because of its strategic location as a major trading port. The surname is first recorded in the early part of the 12th Century, (see below). One, William Bulein appears in the 1204 'Pipe Rolls of Lincolnshire' and a Robert de Boloygne, witness in the 1255 'Fine Court Rolls of Essex'. The name is particularly well recorded in London church registers from the mid 16th Century. On November 27th 1546 Elizabeth Bollen and John Deacon were married in Saint Stephan's, Coleman Street, and on March 23rd 1623 Marie, daughter of Jaques Bollen, was christened in the French Huguenot Church, Threadneedle Street, London. A later recording is that of Thomas Bollins, christened at St Matthews Church, Bethnal Green, on January 29th 1865. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Helias de Bolonia, which was dated 1121, in the Records of the Abbey of Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, during the reign of King Henry 1, known as the Lion of Justice, 1100 - 1135. 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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