This is an English surname. It originates from "Hildreth",composed of the pre 5th century Germanic elements "Hild", meaning battle and "reth", counsel; hence, battle-counsel. Introduced into England by the Normans after the Conquest of 1066, it is a pagan survivor from the time when incoming Christian or biblical names swept all before them in the 12th century. These very early names were originally given for their auspicious connotations, the first holders being supreme warriors who fought with their heads as well as thier swords. In the modern idiom the surname can be found as Hildrow and Hildew, and early recordings from English church registers include: the marriage of Mark Hildrow and Hannah Pavy, which took place at Eryholme, Yorkshire, on May 31st 1763; the marriage of William Hildrew and Rebecca Ord on January 26th 1806, at Bishopwearmouth, Durham; and the christening of William Franks, son of Ralph and Elizabeth Hildrow, at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster, London, on September 7th 1806. It is uncertain as to the first recording but Johannes Hyldreth appears in the Poll Tax rolls for Yorkshire in 1379. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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