This surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century "Aethling", meaning a "prince of the royal blood", a word itself deriving from "aethel", noble. The name Aethling was occasionally used as a personal name which accounts for the fairly wide distribution of the surname. It was to continue in use among the Anglo-Saxon population of England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. Occurrences of the name under variant forms include: Aedwardus Atheling (Kent, 1176), and Gilbert Aedeling (Yorkshire, 1177). There was a Reginald Aylyng recorded in Sussex in 1296. As the natural evolution into the present day surname Ayling occurred other forms such as Aylen and Aylin were to develop. Recordings from English Church Registers include: the marriage of Alice Ayling and Thomas Hodges on January 23rd 1568, at Rogate, Sussex, and the christening of Blaize, son of Nicholas and Margery Ayleing, on June 10th 1621, at St. James', Clerkenwell, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Edgarus Adeling, which was dated 1086, in the Domesday Book of Hertfordshire, during the reign of King William 1, known as "William the Conqueror", 1066 - 1087. 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.