This interesting name, with variant spellings Stillman and Stileman, has two distinct possible origins, the first deriving from the Olde English pre 7th Century 'Stille' meaning 'calm' and 'quiet' plus 'mann', a man, and originally given as a descriptive nickname to one of serene disposition. The suffix 'man' when attached to a nickname has augmentative force. Alternatively the name may be occupational for a fisherman or trapper, deriving from the Olde English 'stiell' or 'still' translating as a 'place for catching fish' or 'a trap for wild animals'. The augmentative suffix 'man' was frequently attached to metonymic occupational name. The surname is first recorded in the early half of the 14th Century, (see below). On December 9th 1661 Elizabeth, daughter of Nicholas and Mary Stillman, was christened in St. James Church, Clerkenwell, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Stileman, which was dated 1327, 'The Subsidy Rolls of Essex', during the reign of King Edward 111, known as the Father of the Navy, 1327 - 1377. 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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