The following is an attempt at explanation.The writer (Joseph Inglis Conklin, Jr., 1908) has made a long and exhaustive study of the origin, family and name of Conklin. After many years of almost constant labor, he is now able to submit to those bearing the name, what seems to him to be a reasonable and doubtless approximately true account as to how and when the name originated. And what circumstances or causes led to the name being adopted by your earliest ancestors and handed down for centuries without any change other than the spelling of the same. We frequently find in the same family some use more or less letters.
Still the sound is the same. Therefore the spelling is of no material consequence other than what it was probably intended for, to distinguish one family from another, where the same were numerous settled in the same locality and could be in this way only separated. It is probably for this reason that we find the name spelled in the following various ways: Conklin, Conclin, Conklin, Conkling, Concking, Conklyn, Conkline, Conklyne, Conkland and many other combinations that have not apparent meaning other than that above stated. In every case we find in tracing back, all originated from the same source, and in many cases we find in the same family, parents and their children, spelling the name differently, particularly so in Wills, Transfers of real estate and other records. In several instances we find the same person spelling his or her name differently in the same document.
Another reason assigned for this is that most all of the wills, deeds and other documents of the times were written by the pastor of the church when a lawyer was obtainable. The legal fraternity were not as numerous then as now and it usually fell to the lot of the minister of the church, and so long as the proper idea was conveyed, the spelling was of no consequence.
At the present time when Christian names are more freely distributed, and with a greater variety to select from than in the early times of the family, the name has gradually been brought somewhat nearer to its original manner of spelling.
During the first 100 years of their residence in the colonies, their names were, except in a few cases, transmitted from father to son. Thus we find among the first settlers, John, Ananias, Cornelius, Benjamin, Joseph, etc. John had a son, John, Ananias had a son, Ananias. And all these sons in turn named their first sons after them, thus creating for their posterity to unravel, a confusion of Johns, Ananiases and many others of a similar character that only a familiarity borne of constant application to the solution of the subject, and a careful separation of dates found in the records of the family, has enabled us to bring order out of chaos, and place before our "brethren of the kin", and our posterity in general, the result of our labors. (Source: The Conklin Genealogy compiled 1875-1908 by Joseph Inglis Conklin, Jr.)
Conklin Mann, in "The Family of Conckelyne, Conklin and Conkling in America," and "The Line of John Conckelyne of Southold and Huntington," published in The American Genealogist, Volume 21 (1944): pages 48-51 and pages 210-215 states . .
"After considerable reading on the story of the Italian, Lorraine and Norman glass-makers who came in a steady stream to England for several years following 1560, I venture a few opinions, which at best are mere guesses. My guess is that Conckelyne or Concklyne [or Concklayne and Conculyn] is an English corruption of a Continental name; that Ananias and John Conckelyne were of the second generation in England; that their forebears came from Italy, Lorraine or Normandy, perhaps by way of Antwerp. The ending 'elyne' or 'lyne' does not establish the name as Norman, Flemish or Scotch, as has been said. If, for instance, the great Venetian glassmaker Verzelini, could quickly become Verselyne in English parish records, there is no reason why a Florentine-Norman family such as Concini should not become Concelyne, Conckelyne or Concklyne."
Just a FEW of the variant spellings of the Conklin(g) surname: Conckelyne, Conkelyne, Concklyne, Conckelen, Concelyne, Conckline, Conckloyne, Kancklyne, Cakylinen, Concklin, Conklyn, Conclin, Concline, Konklyn, Conculyn, Conkelin, Concklaine, Conckelaine, Conkline, Conklen, Conculin, Conclen, Conclan, Conklon, Coklan, Concklayne and, of course, Conkling.