This interesting and unusual surname is of Old French origin, introduced into England after the Conquest of 1066, and is an example of that sizeable group of early European surnames that were gradually created from the habitual use of nicknames. The nicknames were given in the first instance with reference to a variety of characteristics, including supposed resemblance to an animal's or bird's appearance or disposition, or to habits of dress and occupation. The derivation of the name is from a diminutive of the Old French "trouille", trickery, sorcery, and would have been a metonymic nickname for a devious character. The surname can also be found as Trouillex, Troillat, Trouillot and Trouillon. Recordings of the surname from various Church Registers include: Johan, son of Noe and Evote Troillat, who was born on February 19th 1612 at Rechesy, Belforte, France; Maria Troillet, who married Samuel School on July 13th 1765, at Murten Fribourg, Switzerland; and John Troillet, who married Sarah Wetton on May 15th 1807 at Manchester Cathedral. A Coat of Arms granted to the Troillet family of Geneva is a blue shield, with a silver sword per pale and a silver lozenge in chief on either side. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Mathurin Trouillet, which was dated August 29th 1589, witness at a christening, at St. Jacques, Angers, Maine-et-Loire, France, during the reign of King Henry 111 of France, 1574 - 1589. 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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