This interesting and unusual name, recorded in English church registers from the mid 16th Century under the variant spellings Shilston, Chilstone, Chilliston, Chillystone, Chillestone etc., is of English locational origin from either of two places in Devonshire called Shilston, the one near Modbury and the other in Drewsteignton. The former was first recorded as Silfestana in the Domesday Book of 1086, for Devonshire, and the latter as Selvestan. Both places are so called from the Old English pre 7th Century "Scylfe - Stan", a "cromlech", with "scylf" referring to the flat stone on top.On December 22nd 1586, Nicholas, son of William Chilstone, was christened in Ramsey, Essex, on February 24th 1754. On June 30th 1808, Daniel Chillystone and Harriet Woodney were married in St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster, London, and on July 7th 1850, the christening of Priscilla Chillistone took place in Wortham, Suffolk. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Shilston, (christening), which was dated December 28th 1560, St. Cyres, Newton, Devonshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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.
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