Recorded in a number of spellings including Pilmer, Pillmer, Pilmore, Pillmore, and Pillmoor, this is an English locational surname. It originates from what is now the tiny hamlet of Pilmoor, (Olde English pre 7th century 'pil-mor' or the waste land belonging to Pila) fifteen miles north of the city of York, and by the side of the main North East railway line. In the near past and particularly in the Second World War (1939 - 1945), Pilmoor was quite an important railway station and junction, with lines to both east and west. It also served as the access point for the main ammunition storage and dispersal area for RAF Bomber Command, many thousands of rail trucks passing in and out. In 1951 the junction was closed and now Pilmoor is almost a memory. But this is probably the second time that this has happened. The first time would have been in the 17th century when the village was 'enclosed', and the tenants forced off the common grazing lands. Many inhabitants were forced to seek homes and livelihoods elsewhere. In consequence many went south and the church registers of Greater London show that the name is first recorded there in 1637, when Elizabeth Pilmer married John Cooke at the church of St Gregory's by the St Pauls (Cathedral), on September 14th of that year. In Yorkshire itself the surviving church registers indicate that the surname is not recorded until January 17th 1692, when Maria Pilmore married Guilelmus Hodgson at Gilling near Helmsley, some ten miles from Pilmoor.
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