Recorded in various forms as shown below, this is an early medieval English and sometimes Scottish, surname. It is a patronymic created from Hulle, a pet form of the male given name Hugh. This name was introduced into Britain by the Norman-French after the Conquest of 1066, in the Old French form "Hughe"; although arguably it is of pre 7th century Old German origin, or a short form of any of the various Germanic compound personal names with the first element of "hug", meaning heart or mind. These include the popular Hubert, meaning "heart-bright". The short form of Hulle is recorded in 1201 as Hulle le Bulle, in the Staffordshire Pipe Rolls, and Hulle de Alperam in Cheshire in 1259. The patronymic forms of the surname, Houlson, Hulson, the dialectal Hulston, Hulls and Hulles, appear early in the 14th Century. In Scotland, John Houlsoun witnessed an instrument of date in Prestwick in 1466, and Huchon Hulson was a witness in Ayr in 1471. Among the recordings of the name in London church registers are the marriage of Robert Houlson and Elisabeth Maydestone at St. Dunstan's in the East, on June 17th 1686, and the christening of Jeremiah, son of Roger and Alice Hulston, on September 9th 1697, at St. Giles' Cripplegate. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Hullson. This was dated 1308, in the Register of the Freemen of the City of York, during the reign of King Edward 11nd of England, 1307 - 1327. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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