Recorded as Pillan, Pillans, Pillin, Pilling, Pillon and others, this is a surname of English origins. It is from a place called Pilling, a village in the county of Lancashire near the town of Garstang. The name probably means a small lake, from a diminutive of the Olde British word "pyl" meaning a pool. The surname is ancient, and is well recorded from the 13th century. These early recordings include Thomas Pillyng of Warwickshire who appeared in the Subsidy Tax Rolls of 1344, and Emma Pylyng in the Hundred Rolls of the county of Sussex in 1296. The surname development has also included forms such as Pyllans in London in 1567, Pillans recorded in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1612, Pillens, also in London in 1617, and Pillion (1633) and Pilon (1725). However these two are of French Huguenot origin, whose names were gradually anglicized to Pilling during the course of the 18th century. Early church recordings include John Pillin who married Agnes Lewes on February 12th 1567 at St. Botolph's Bishopsgate, city of London, and Margaret Pilling married Richard Card on November 8th 1635 at St. Dunstan's, Stepney. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Adam Pilling. This was dated 1283, in the Pipe Rolls of Suffolk, during the reign of King Edward 1st of England, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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