This uncommon and interesting surname, recorded in English Church Registers under the variant spellings Jelliman, Jelleman, Jolliman, Geleman and Gulliman, has two distinct possible sources, each with its own history and derivation. Firstly, Jellyman may be a dialectal variant of the medieval surname "Ghylemyn, Gillemyn", itself coming from the Old French male given name "Guillemin", Norman "Willemin", diminutives of "Guillaume", the Old French form of William, composed of the Germanic elements "wil", will, desire, and "helm", helmet, protection.This personal name was introduced into England at the time of the Conquest (1066), and within a very short period became the most popular given name in England, one Anketinus filius (son of) Gilmyn being recorded in the 1273 Hundred Rolls of Cambridgeshire. Early examples of the surname include: William Ghylemyn (Cornwall, 1297), and Matilda Gelemyn (Cambridgeshire, 1327). The second possibility is that Jellyman is an occupational name for the attendant or (man) servant of one called "Jelley", itself a diminutive of "Jelle, Julle, Jolle", pet forms of the medieval given name "Julian", ultimately from the Latin "Julius", a Roman family name of uncertain etymology, but believed to mean "sky, light". On October 19th 1630, John Jellyman and Jone Arnall were married at St. Stephan's, Coleman Street, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Gylemyn, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Buckinghamshire", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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