This uncommon surname is of medieval French origins. It is one of a group generated by and from the male personal names Wilhelm, William, and Guillaume. Originally composed of the elements "wil", meaning will or desire, and "helm", protection, these early names were probably of Frankish or even Goth origins from the pre 5th century. Introduced into England and Scotland at the Norman Conquest of 1066, they became popular 'British' personal names usually as Giles, Gilles, and Jiles. These in time became surnames in their own right.The French and sometimes English forms include Guile, Guill and Guille, as well as diminutives Guillet, Guillot, Guillotin, Guillon, Guilleau, Guilloux, and Guillond. Recordings of the name from early surviving French church registers include: the christening of Catherine, daughter of Etienne Guillon, at Angers, Maine-et-Loire, in December 1643, and the marriage of Francois Guill and Perrine Baudry on July 7th 1692, at Andreze, Maine-et-Loire. It is said that the name was introduced into England by Huguenot refugees in the 16th century. If so an example may be that of Richard Guile who married Susan Sherman at the church of St Michael Bassishaw, in the city of London, on December 10th 1593. The first recorded spelling of the family name anywhere may be that of Peter Gillame. This was dated 1276 in the "Calendar of Letter Books of the City of London", during the reign of King Edward 1st of England, 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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