This ancient surname derives from the Olde English and Norse Viking "lang" which translates as "tall". Leng is therefore a descriptive comparative nickname given to somebody who was not just "lang" but "leng" - exceptionally tall. Perhaps not surprisingly whilst "Lang(er)" is a relatively popular surname in several parts of Europe, "Leng" is far less so, although the original recording as shown below is an early example of a surname. It has also been suggested that the name could be locational for one who lived on a tall or perhaps steep hill, but as the first recording is from Norfolk, a county renowned for its flatness, this seems illogical. Surname recordings include those of John Leng (1666 - 1727) born in London, but later appointed Bishop of Norfolk, and for a time chaplain to King George 1 (1715 - 1727), whilst on December 31st 1691 one Elizabeth Leng married Christopher Hogg at the famous church of St Katherine's by the Tower, London, in the reign of William & Mary (1689 - 1694). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Simon Lenge, which was dated 1275, in the Hundred Rolls of Norfolk, during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The hammer of the Scots" 1272 - 1307 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.