This is a famous German and sometimes Ashkenasic surname. It is usually locational and describes a former inhabitant of Berlin who had moved somewhere else. However in the 18th century Berlin was also used as an abstract or ornamental surname for immigrants from Southern and Central Europe, who flooded into Germany, then regarded as the most liberal area in Europe. The origins of the city are at least of the Roman period from between the First and the Fifth Century a.d. The place name is said to derive from a Wendish word, a language spoken in Northern Germany in ancient times, which meant 'a bridge of beams,' however over the many centuries a bear has been introduced as the heraldic symbol for the city. This suggests or is intended to suggest, that the original spelling may have been 'Barlin' or the place of the bear. Either origins are possible and logical. The first recording that we have been able to prove positively is that of Hans Bernhard Berlin, given as being the Burger of Heilbron in the year 1407. He may be the same person who is recorded as Hans Berlin in 1414, also in Heilbron.