This interesting surname of English origin with variant spellings Gillian, Gillan, Gillon, Gillion, Gellion, Jillions, Gillions, Jellings, Jillings, etc. is a dialectal variant of the medieval given name Julian, itself coming from the Latin Julianus, from Julius, the name of a Roman gens, and Juliana, its feminine. They were both names of saints and both names were popular, the latter particularly as Gillian. The surname dates back to the early 13th Century, (see below). Further recordings include one John Juliane, (1275), "The Subsidy Rolls of Worcestershire", and Henry Julian (1327), "The Subsidy Rolls of Suffolk". Church recordings include one Anys Gyllian who married George Foulkes on November 5th 1597, at St. Mary's, Somerset. Jacques, son of, Jacques and Anthonnette Gillon, a French Huguenot, was christened on July 3rd 1604, at Threadneedle Street, London, and Mounger Gillan married Mary Talbot on May 11th 1686, at St. Katherine by the Tower, London. Sarah, daughter of James and Mary Gillan, was christened on May 22nd 1763, at St. Sepulchre, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter Julian, which was dated 1200, in the "Pipe Rolls of Lincolnshire", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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