Recorded in several spellings including Solly, Solley, and diminutives such as Sollis, Sollett, Sollitt, Sollitt and Sowlett, this very interesting surname is believed to be generally English. However it is sometimes Irish, French or If of English origins, it may derive from the pre7th century word 'sol' meaning a watering hole, or perhaps a muddly place, as in the recording of William de la Sole of Sussex in 1207, or it may be a local slang spelling for such villages as Sawley in Derbyshire and Yorkshire, or Sudeley in Gloucestershire, which is known locally as Sully. If French it derives from the Roman (Latin )word 'solum' meaning a ground floor, but is believed to have had the more precise meaning of the 'threshing floor.' Curiously the name if of Irish origin, is believed to share the same meaning and to originate from 13th century French settlers in Ireland called Soleum, and subsequently MacSolly, and then as Solly in County Monaghan in 1674. It said that the name can also be Jewish, and a short or nickname form of the famous personal name Soloman. Early examples of the surname in surviving church register recordings in England include William Soly, who was married at Ash near Sandwich in the county of Kent on September 25th 1508, and in the diminutive form Helyas Sollott, who was christened at St Andrews by the Wardrobe, in the old city of London, on December 12th 1566. 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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