This very unusual name is habitational and apparently derives from some now "lost" hamlet or farm which translates as "The Steep Valley of the deer". The origin is a combination of the old English pre 7th Century "heorot", or the Norse-Viking "hjortr" both meaning "hart or deer" plus "gyldra", translating as a water course in a ravine. Not surprisingly, the name is extremely rare and it is also possible that the name is a derived form of the more popular harthjill or hartshill, (The hill of deer) originating in Cheshire. What is very surprising is that "hartgill" as a surname is not recorded in Yorkshire, Lancashire, Cheshire, Cumberland etc., the "Viking" counties which would normally be expected to be the source origin. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Arthur Hartgill, which was dated April 27th 1634, a witness at St. Margarets church, Westminster, during the reign of King Charles 1, "The Martyr", 1625 - 1649. 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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