Recorded in many forms including the diminutives Solly, Solley, Sollas, Solis, Sollis, Soliss and Sollix and meaning 'Little Sol,' and the double diminutives Sollett and Sollitt, meaning 'The son of Little Sol,' this is today regarded as being an English medieval surname. It has several possible origins. These include a development from Roman word 'sol' meaning the sun, and given in the pre 10th century as a personal name of endearment to a male child, and secondly as a short form of the word 'solacium.' This originally translated as 'soothing' and which in medieval times became 'solace'. It is also claimed that 'solace' was used as a nickname for pleasant person, but perhaps given the robust humour of the Middle Ages,it may have meant the complete reverse! What is certain is that the surname is very early, and examples of recordings from those far off times include Robert Solace in the registers known as the calendar of Letter Books of the city of London in 1274, and Walter Solas in the Assize Rolls of the county of Northumberland in 1296. Later surviving church recordings from the city of London include those of Frances Sollis, the daughter of Henry and Beatrice Sollis, who was christened on December 8th 1639, at St. Thomas the Apostle, and Beatrix Sollix who married John Freeman on May 22nd 1643, also at St. Thomas the Apostle. In the island of Barbados we have the recording of Thomas Sollis, the son of Robert Sollis who in 1678 was christened there. 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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