This interesting surname, of English origin, is a locational name from a place called Selito, in the parish of Featherstone, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, its meaning being uncertain. Locational surnames were usually acquired by a local landowner, or by the lord of the manor, and especially by those former inhabitants of a place who had moved to another area, and were thereafter best identified by the name of their birthplace. The surname dates back to the late 14th Century (see below), and further recordings include one Jurdanus Selito (1379), in the Poll Tax Records of Yorkshire. Variations in the idiom of the spelling include Shilito, Shillitoe, Shilleto, and Shillitto. Recordings from London Church Registers include the marriage of William Selletto and Anne Cropson at St. Giles' Cripplegate, on May 27th 1616; the christening of William, son of George and Joan Shilleto, at St. Benet's, Paul's Wharf on July 27th 1621; the christening of Sarah, daughter of Joseph and Sarah Shillito, at St. Andrew's, Holborn, on November 20th 1703; and the christening of Thomas Fitchew, son of John and Martha Shillito, on February 23rd 1789, at St. Andrew's, Holborn. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Adam Selito, which was dated 1379, in the "Poll Tax Records of Yorkshire", during the reign of King Richard 11, known as "Richard of Bordeaux", 1377 - 1399. 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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