Recorded as Lillo, Lillow, Lielo, Lilloe, Lillue, and possibly others, this is a rare surname inspite of its large number of variant spellings. We assume that the origin is Spanish, the meaning is unknown but possibly a short form of Isabella.The surname is popular on the continent, and was therefore possibly introduced into England as a Huguenot protestant refugee name in the 17th century. The first spelling in the surviving church registers of the city of London is as Lillue, which may well be a French form. This recording has Anne Lillue, who married Peter Descobeck at the church of St Katherine by the Tower (of London), on May 1st 1627. Both these spellings are highly suspicious, neither Descobeck nor Lillue seem to appear again in the registers. This was a time of great religious unrest throughout Europe, and whilst the registrar was probably uncertain as to the correct spelling, so no doubt were the happy couple! Thereafter the name is consistently recorded as Lillo with just the occasional spelling as Lilloe. These recordings include William Lillo at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, whilst far away in Spain we have the recording of Estaban de Lillo, whose son Miguel was baptised at San Pedro, Aguilar de Campos, Valladolid, on June 18th 1637.
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