This intriguing name is of Manx origin and is the Anglicization of the Gaelic 'Mac Giolla Chreest', the 'mac' denoting the 'son of', and 'Giolla', servant, thus translating as the son of Christ's servant. It is thought that this name dates from about the 7th Century when the first Christian missionaries visited the Isle of Man, and 'Christ's servant' probably refers to an early member of the Church, in the days when marriage was still allowed. The following examples illustrate the name development, MacGilchreest (1511), McYilchrist (1713), Mylechreest (1717), all recorded in A. W. Moore's 'Manx Names'. Amongst the sample recordings in the Isle of Man are the christenings of Ellinor Mylchreest on September 11th 1756 at Kirk German and Elizabeth Mylechreest on November 19th 1752, at Malew. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Patrick Gilcristes, which was dated 1296, Perth, Scotland, Calendar of Documents, during the reign of John Balliol of Scotland, 1292-1296. 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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