This interesting surname of English origin with variant spellings Millsom, Millson, Millsum, Milsom, Melsom, Melsome, and Melson, is a metronymic from either the Middle English female given name "Ma(ha)lt, Mau(l)d", a variant of the Norman personal name "Mathilde, Matilda," composed of the Germanic elements "maht" meaning "might or strength" plus "hild" "battle", or from the Olde English female given name "Milde". It may also be a patronymic of the Germanic male personal name "Milo", of uncertain etymology. The surname dates back to the early 14th Century (see below). Further recordings include one Simon Mildesone (1327) the Subsidy Rolls of Somerset, and Thomas Milsson (1379) the Poll Tax Records of Yorkshire. Church Recordings include Willim, son of Thomas Melson, who was christened on April 26th 1563 at Scrafield, Lincolnshire, and Barbary Melson married Richard Millet on May 10th 1572 at St. Margaret's, Woodhall, London. One William Mellison, aged 25 yrs., an emigrant to the New World, sailed from London aboard the "Expedition" bound for the Barbadoes on November 20th 1635. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Milleson, which was dated 1309, witness in the "Assize Court Rolls of Staffordshire", during the reign of King Edward 11, known as "Edward of Caernafon", 1307 - 1327. 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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