This uncommon name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a dialectal variant of the locational names Dillington or Dilston, from places situated in Huntingdonshire, Norfolk and Northumberland. Dillington in Huntingdonshire is recorded in the Saxon Chartulary of 974 as "Dilingtune", and in the 1086 Domesday Book as "Dellinctune", while Dilston in Northumberland appears as "Diueliston" in the 1175 Pipe Rolls of the county. The placename Dillington, in Huntingdonshire and Norfolk, derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century personal name "Dylla" or "Dylli", from "dol", dull, with the suffix "-ing(as)", denoting "people, tribe of ", and "tun", enclosure, settlement. The placename Dilston means "the settlement on Devil's Water", from an ancient river name, a compound of the British (Celtic) "dubo", black, and an element cognate with the Old Welsh or Celtic "gleis", stream, and "tun", as before. The river name is recorded as "Diveles" in 1230, and others with similar derivations are Dawlish, Dalch and Dowlish. The surname from these placenames can be found as Dilston, Dilling(s)ton(e), Dilliston(e) and Dilleston(e). Examples of the name from Church Registers include: the christening of John Dillistone at Isleham, Cambridgeshire, on July 7th 1573, and the marriage of Nicholas Dillistone and Anne Haylock at Little Thurlow, Suffolk, on November 19th 1615. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Edmund Dilison, which was dated April 28th 1547, a christening witness at Halifax, Yorkshire, during the reign of King Edward V1, known as "The Boy King", 1547 - 1553. 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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