This unusual and interesting surname is of British origin, and is a variant form of the Scottish locational name Linlithgow, from the royal burgh so called situated between Edinburgh and Falkirk. The component elements of the placename are British words related to the Welsh "llyn", lake, pool, with "liath", damp, and "cau", hollow. British (as above) refers to the extinct Celtic language of the ancient Britons. In the 13th and 14th Centuries the name appears both with and without the first syllable. It has been assumed that "Lithgow" was the name of the settlement, and "Linlithgow" that of the lake. Lithgow was associated by folk etymology with the Gaelic "liath", grey, and "cu", hound, and such a figure appears on the medieval borough seal. Locational surnames were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually to seek work, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. Regional and dialectal differences subsequently produced variations in the spelling of the name. On April 27th 1746, Sarah, daughter of Walter Lillico, was christened at Duwich College Chapel, Dulwich, London, and on July 24th 1748, William Lillico and Janet Black were married in Edinburgh, Midlothian. The Coat of Arms most associated with the name is a silver shield with a black demi otter issuing out of a loch in base proper. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Magister Symon de Lynlithcu, which was dated 1225, in the "Chartulary of St. Andrew's Priory", Scotland, during the reign of King Alexander 11 of Scotland, 1214 - 1249. 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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