Recorded in many spellings including Bellin, Billin, Bellon, Billing, Billings, Billion, Bellon and Belone, this is an Anglo-French and possibly Huguenot surname. It has a number of sources and origins. Firstly, it may be a diminutive or patronymic form of "Bill", itself a short form not of William but of various Germanic personal name such as Billard and Billaud, or of the Olde English pre 7th century byname "Billa". The derivation is from "bill", meaning a sword or halberd. Secondly it may be locational either from Billing, a village in the county of Northamptonshire, recorded as Bellinge in the famous Domesday Book of 1086, and as Billinges in the Pipe Rolls of that county in 1223, or from Billinge, a village in the county of Lancashire. Both place names are tribal and mean the settlement of the Billa people. Lastly it may be French and a form of the word "belier", meaning the ram. As such it was probably a medieval nickname for a very spirited male. Early examples of the surname recordings in England include Ann Billin at the church of St Andrews Undershaft, in the city of London, on March 17th 1567, Anne Billion, a witness at St Giles Cripplegate, on July 8th 1708, and Isaac Belone, christened at Christ Church, Spitalfields, also city of London, on August 19th 1754. The first recorded spelling of the surname in any form is probably that of Osebertus Billing. This was dated 1188, in the calendar of Abbot Samson of Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, during the reign of King Henry 11nd of England. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop", often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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