This unusual name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational surname deriving from the place called "Pilkington" near Prestwich in Lancashire. The placename is recorded as "Pulkinton" in 1202, as "Pilkenton" in the 1204 Pipe Rolls of Lancashire, and as "Pilkington" in the 1246 Assize Rolls of the county. The name means "the settlement of Pileca's people", derived form the Old English pre 7th Century personal name "Pileca", with the suffix "ing" indicating "people, family of", and "tun", settlement or village. Locational surnames were usually given to the lord of the manor, and to those former inhabitants of the place who moved to another area. The development of the surname includes Pilkinton (1285, Cheshire) and Pylkyngton (1470, Yorkshire). "Pilkington" is the name of a landowning family traceable in the area around Salford to the 14th Century. The Will of Oliver Pilkington of Bolton, Lancashire, was recorded at Chester in 1594. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alexander de Pilkington, which was dated 1205, Charters of Whalley Abbey, Lancashire, 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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