This unusual and interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is locational from some minor, unrecorded or now "lost" place, believed to have been situated in Somerset, because of the large number of early recordings in that region. An estimated seven to ten thousand villages and hamlets are known to have disappeared since the 12th Century, due to such natural causes as the Black Death of 1348, in which an eighth of the population perished, and to the widespread practice of enforced "clearing" and enclosure of rural lands for sheep pastures from the 15th Century onwards. The placename is derived from the personal name "Goll", a pet form of Goliath, from the Latin "Goliath", originally from the Hebrew "golyat", of uncertain etymology: this was the name of a Philistine giant from Gath who terrorized the Hebrews until he was killed by David with a stone from his sling. The second element is derived from the Olde English pre 7th Century "ecg", edge, hillside, hill; hence "Goll's hill". Recorded in the Somerset Church Registers are the christenings of William, son of Stephen Golledge, on April 1st 1599 at Baltonsborough, and of Esther, daughter of Johnathon and Naomi Golledge, on January 7th 1677 at Milton Clevedon. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Gollege, which was dated August 25th 1557, marriage to Christiana Ames, at Bruton, Somerset, during the reign of Queen Mary, known as "Bloody Mary", 1153 - 1158. 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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