This English surname is of pre 9th century Olde French origins. Deriving from the pre 7th century personal name Guillemin, the Norman Willemin, and the later English William, the name was probably first introduced into England in the century before the 1066 Norman Conquest, when there was a lot of French influence in the country, as there always has been. Today recorded in the spellings of Gillman, Gilman, Guillerman, Gellman, Gelman, Wellman, Wellerman, Willman, Williman, Willment, and many others, the suffix ending "man or mann" would normally indicate a friend, kinsman, or even follower or servant of "William", but this does not seem to be the case with this surname. The first recording of all "Wilelminus" in the city of Oxford rolls for the year 1220, and as Gilmyn in the 1279 Hundred Rolls of London, suggest that dialect changed the ending from "min" to man". The recordings through the centuries showw the gradual change. William Gillemyn was recorded in Kent in 1317, Matilda Gelemyne in 1427 in Cambridge, Thomas Wylman in Yorkshire in 1524, and Richard Williman, also in Yorkshire, in 1544. From that point in history the name has become "locked" into hereditary spellings. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Wilemyn, in the Hundred Rolls of the city of London in the year 1275. This was during the reign of King Edward Ist, known as " The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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