This interesting and rare surname is of Medieval English origin and is a dialectal variant of either of three places, the first being Poughill in Devon and Cornwall, first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Pochehelle" and later in 1269 as "Pohewille", it derives from an Old English pre 7th Century personal name "Pohha" and "hyll", hill. Secondly Polhill may derive from Polden Hill in Somerset, recorded in the Close Rolls of 1241 as Pouldon and derive from the Old Welsh "pou", meaning country and the Old English pre 7th Century "dun", a hill. A so called "lost" village called Pouhilt was once situated near, Polden Hill, with the second element "holt", meaning "wood", and it is possible that Polhill has its origins in this place. In Bridport, Dorset, on September 12th 1695 on Edward Polhill married Mary Warn. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Polhill marriage to Elizabeth Hepton, which was dated 19th June 1580 at St. Helen, Bishopgate, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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