This interesting surname is an English patronymic or metronymic, from the early medieval personal name "Julian", which derives from the Latin "Julius", a derivative of "Iuppiter", meaning "the supreme god". The personal name, borne by men and women in medieval England, was also the name of ten saints, the best known being the legendary Saint Julian the Hospitaller, the patron saint of travellers. This personal name gave rise to the modern surnames Gillian, Gillions, Jillions, Jillings, Gellion and Jellings. Giliana was recorded in the Feet of Fines of Suffolk in 1198 and Jilianus filius (son of) Geroldi was mentioned in the Curia Rolls of Cambridgeshire in 1206. The surname itself dates from the late 13th Century (see below). In some instances, the name may be of Anglo-Saxon origin, from "Gilling" in Yorkshire, composed of the Olde English personal name "Getla", plus the suffix "-ing", meaning "people of". Simon Gilling was listed in the Hundred Rolls of Cambridgeshire in 1273. Agnes Gyllyng married William Hayward on April 26th 1547 at St. Margaret's, Westminster, London. One Anna, daughter of Izaak and Annae Gillings was christened on March 19th 1640 at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster, London, The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Adam de Gilling, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Kent", 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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