Recorded as Kiln, Kilne, and Kilner, this is usually an English surname. It is also usually occupational but may be residential and therefore either described a potter, or somebody who lived by a kiln or at a place called Kiln. The derivation is from the Old English pre 7th century word "cylen", itself from the Latin "culina", a kitchen. The surname is very early which is not surprising given the importance of pottery or earthenware in early days. Life would have been almost unsupportable without the simple bowls and containers of pre medieval history. In early recordings and as Kilner, the name is much associated with the north of England and specifically the county of Yorkshire, although why this should be so is not clear, pottery being produced more or less everywhere that clay existed. Early examples of the surname include Robert Kylner of Lincoln in the year 1305, and Johannes Killner of Yorkshire in 1481. The name development has included Elizabeth Kiln at St James Clerkenwell in London in 1624, and Mary Killiner who married Henry Hickson on the 23rd February 1764, at St. James Westminster. A coat of arms associated with the name has the blazon of a black field, charged with a silver eagle displayed, armed red. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William le Kylnere. This was dated 1292, in the Middle English Surnames of Occupation 1100 - 1350, of Lancashire, during the reign of King Edward 1st, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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