This interesting medieval patronymic derived from the Roman 'caecilli' meaning the 'blind one' and developed into the male, Cecil and female Cecilia. As a personal name, Cecil or Cecilia, are Norman introductions to England after 1066, the name also being spelt as 'Sisley' and in this form it was uni-sex. The popularity of the name led to the semi-nickname 'Sis or Cis' and in due course the patronymic 'son of Sis or Cis' was created first appearing as, Sisson or Sills, although the latter form can also derive from Silvester or even Silcock. The 'C' prefix seems to have been lost by the 16th century and replaced always by 'S'. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Johannes Cyllson which was dated 1379, in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls during the reign of King Richard 11, known as Richard of Bordeaux 1378-1400 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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