This interesting surname, with variant spellings Gillons, Jillions, Jellions, Jillings, Gillins etc., is either a patronymic form of the male given name Julian or a metronymic of the female personal name Juliana, both deriving from the Latin Julianus, itself coming from Julius, the name of a Roman "gens" i.e. an aristocratic family in ancient Rome having a common ancestor in the male line. Julius is believed to be a derivative of Juppiter, (genitive Jovis), the supreme god whose name is Akin to words for "sky", "light", and "day".Both Julian and Juliana were popular in the Middle Ages in honour of various Christian saints, the latter particularly as Gillian. Recordings of the personal name include Giliana (1198) - "The Feet of Fines for Suffolk"; Jilianus Filius Geroldi (1206) - "The Curia Regis Rolls of Cambridgeshire", and Gilianus de Levekenore, (Berkshire; 1279). On January 17th 1579, Joane Gyllians and Thomas Framton were married in St. Mary Magdalene Milk Street, London, and on July 28th 1618, Frances Gillions and William Langley were married in London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Gilion, which was dated 1273, "The Hundred Rolls of Cambridgeshire", during the reign of King Edward 1, "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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