This unusual and interesting surname may be either a variant of the more familiar Elias, itself deriving from the medieval male given name Elis, Elijah (Greek "Elias", ultimately from the Hebrew "Eliyahu", Jehovah is God), or it may stem from the Islamic personal name Ilyas, the name of a Muslim prophet who, together with Idris, is supposed to have entered Paradise alive. Surnames derived from given names are the oldest and most pervasive surname type, and in religious naming traditions, names are bestowed in honour of a cult figure.The most powerful religious influence on naming in Europe has been the Christian Church, and many of the surnames from the Volga region, where the religion was primarily Islam, derive from the personal names of this tradition. These are: prophets' names, those of Old Testament origin, and epithets of Allah. Early examples of the surname from England include: William Elis (Lincolnshire, 1202), and Roger Elys (Essex, 1216). On April 27th 1756, Johann Peter Ilias and Anna Elisabetha Schwartzens were married at Kirchberg, Rheinland, Germany, and in 1830, a son, Abdula, was born to Kahlil and Wardah Ilias at Bethlehem, Judea, Palastine. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Elyas, which was dated 1200, in the "Pipe Rolls of Yorkshire", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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