Gatlin Family CrestThe English surname Gatlin, also found in Ireland, is a variant of Catlin or Gadling, a nickname from Old English gœdeling meaning “kinsman, or companion.” This term has also given rise to the term "to gad about" or "gadding", given to one who is a wanderer, which was first used in the late 16th Century. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Geoffrey Gatelin, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Wiltshire." Other early examples of the surname include the marriage of Elizabeth Gatlyn and James Baylie on July 25th 1614 at St. Giles', Cripplegate, London, and the christening of Robert, son of Alexandri and Anne Gatling, on March 21st 1640 at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster.

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