This locational surname derives almost exclusively from the Yorkshire villages called North and South Kilvington, between Thirsk and Northallerton. There is a village also called Kilvington near Newark in Nottinghamshire, but strangely the surname rarely appears in the county, not being recorded there until 1815, when a Jane Kilvington married Jonathon Gibson at Blythe, on February 2nd of that year. As this is much too late for an English surname, it is assumed that Jane Kilvington was probably of Yorkshire origins. The origin is from the Old English pre 10th century "tun" meaning farm plus "ing" - the people, plus "Kil" a personal name, itself deriving from "Kelda" meaning "spring". The epicentre of the surname and the place of all early recordings was in the village of Leake, only a mile or so from the Kilvingtons. In 1972 the Kilvingtons had a population of about 300 persons, which is interesting for two reasons, firstly a locational name usually occurs as a result of the original village being "cleared" by the landlords under the Enclosure Acts, the former inhabitants then taking as their surname the name of their former village, and secondly Leake, the village which gave a home to the first Kilvingtons in 1972 had a population of just fourteen. Even allowing for the passing of centuries this seems to be the wrong way around. Examples of the recordings include John, the son of Thomas Kilvington, christened at Leake on February 3rd 1599, and Richard Kilvington, also of Leake, a witness there on November 24th 1613. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Mary Kilvington, which was dated June 21st 1584, married Thomas Wood at Leake, North Yorkshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess" 1558 - 1603. 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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