This interesting name is from a diminutive form of the personal name Giles, Julian or William. There has been considerable confusion between the variants of both personal and surnames generated from these original names over the centuries and it is no longer possible to assign separate derivations for the modern surname, which can be found as "Gillet(t)", "Gill(i)att", "Gillyatt", "Gillot(t)", "Gillyett", "Gilyot(t)", "Jillett" and "Jellett", among others. The name Giles is derived from the Greek "aigidion", meaning kid, and was introduced into England by the Normans after the Conquest of 1066 as "Gille", with the diminutive forms "Gillet" and "Gillot" as in Gilot de Lackenby (1250, Yorkshire). Julian and the female form Gillian are derived from the Latin "Iuppiter", the supreme god, whose name means "sky, light, day", with the diminutives "Giliot" and "Gilliatt". William derives from the French (Norman) "Guillaume", from the Germanic "wil", meaning desire, conviction and "helm", helmet, protection, giving the diminutive "Guillot" as in Guylote Belebonche (1319, London). Louise Gillyett was christened at Whitgift, Yorkshire on the 18th September 1691. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Peter Gyllot (witness), which was dated 1260, Assize Rolls of Yorkshire, during the reign of King Henry III, "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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