Recorded in the spellings of Hillhouse and Hilhouse, this is an English surname of medieval origins. It can be either locational or a topgraphical surname. If the former it originates from one of the eight villages or areas called Hill House or Hillhouse spread around England, or it may have described a person who lived at a house on the hill. There could also be another interpretation, in that for instance the district called Hillhouse, near Huddersfield, in West Yorkshire, is on an area of particularly flat land, with hills to each side. In this case at least the word 'Hill' may refer to a personal name formerly 'Hille' and a short form of the pre 8th century Anglo-Saxon Hild or Hildigard, to gives 'Hille's house'. What is certain is that the surname is a very early recording with Nicholas de Hellus appearing in the Hundred Rolls of the county of Buckinghamshire in the year 1273. Other recordings showing the development of the surname over the centuries include: Grace Hellhouse, given as being the widow of Robert Hellhouse, a carpenter of Purley in Essex in 1597, and in 1795 Ann Hillhouse, who married Thomas Dykes at St George's Chapel, Hanover Square, Westminster.
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