This uncommon surname is of Old French origin, and was originally introduced into ngland at the time of the Norman Invasion in 1066. It is one of the varied group of derivative names generated by the male personal name "Guillaume", the Old French form of the ancient Germanic given name 'Wilhelm' composed of the elements "wil", meaning desire, and "helm", - protection. There are many double diminutives of "Guillaume", of which this surname above is a fine example. The earliest recordings of the derivative surnames as recorded in England, include such forms as Gwillotus Clerk in the London rolls of 1377 and Robertus Gillot in the 1379 Poll Tax rolls of Yorkshire. Both French and English forms of the surname include Gillette, Gillett, Gillott, Guillet(on), Guillard, Guillart, Guilliatt (a 19th century Lincolnshire spelling), Guillot, Guillotin, Guillon (eau), Guillou(x), Guillond, and many others. Recordings of the name from French Church Registers include: the christening of Catherine, daughter of Etienne Guillon, at Angers, Maine-et-Loire, in December 1643, and the marriage of Pierre Guillotin to Jeane Francart at Chalandry-Elaire, on November 27th 1685. The name was re-introduced into England by Huguenot refugees, an example recording being that of Paul Guillart, at Threadneedle Street French Huguenot Church, London, on May 5th 1622. The coat of arms most associated with the name was granted in Norfolk in 1614. It has the blazon of an ermine field, a black bend charged with three lucies. The crest is that of a lion rampant holding in its paw a battleaxe, all proper. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Peter Gillame, which was dated 1276, in the "Calendar of Letter Books of London", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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