This interesting surname is a dialectal variant of "Giles", itself an English surname from the medieval personal name "Aegidius" (from the Greek "aigidion", kid, young goat), the name of a 7th Century Provencal hermit who popularized the name in a variety of forms: Gidi and Gidy in southern France, Gil(l)e in the Alpes-Maritimes region, and Gil(l)e elsewhere. The personal names "Gilo" and "Ghilo" appear in the Domesday Book (1086), while the surname itself first appears in records in the late 12th Century (see below). Godfrey Gile was recorded in the Pipe Rolls of Northamptonshire in 1176. Agnes Gylys married John Slene on July 15th 1548, at St. Stephen's, Coleman Street, London. John Gilles married Alice Leonard at St. Margaret's, Stratton, Wiltshire, on April 19th 1609. Anne Gullis married Francis Wilson at St. Dunstan, Stepney, London, on February 5th 1626. Evidence also suggests that the name may have been introduced into England by French Huguenots, fleeing religious persecution, as Anne, daughter of Salomon and Susanne Gilles was christened at Threadneedle St. London on July 12th 1691. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ailward Gile, which was dated 1179, in the "Pipe Rolls of Berkshire", during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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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