This interesting surname has a number of possible sources. Firstly, it may have originated as a short form of any of the following male given names: Giles, Julian, or William. The ultimate origin of the medieval name Giles is the Latin "Aegidius", from the Greek "aigidion", kid, young goat, which was brought to England by the Normans in the form "Gil(l)e". Julian has its roots in the Latin "Iulianus", a derivative of "Iulius", ultimately from "Iovis", the supreme god, whose name is akin to words for "sky", "light", and "day". Several early saints, including Julian the Hospitaller, bore this name. William was a favourite name with the Normans who introduced it to England, its component elements being the Germanic "wil", will, desire, and "helm", helmet. The Old Irish personal name "Gilla", cognate with the Old Norse "gille", servant, is the most likely source of the surname in northern English counties. Ghille, Ghile, and Ghil (without surname) appear in the Domesday Book of 1086 for Yorkshire, and Gamel filius (son of ) Gille, was noted in the 1185 Knights Templars Records of Yorkshire. In Ireland and Scotland, Gill is found as an Anglicized form of the patronymic MacGille and MacGiolla, "son of the servant". Finally, Gill may be topographical in origin from residence by a deep glen or ravine, from the Middle English and Old Norse "gil(l)", ravine, as in Michael del Gill (Cumberland, 1332). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph Gille, which was dated 1202, witness in the "Assize Court Rolls of Lincolnshire", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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