Recorded in many spellings as shown below, this is an English surname although one of Norman French origins. Dating from the time of the Norman Coquest of England in 1066, it is a medieval diminutive of the name William, the Norman form of the Germanic Wilhelm, and translating as "mind protector". During the 12th century it became the most popular given name in England, a piece of political correctness in honour of the Conqueror himself. The given name appears in the famous Domesday Book of 1086 with the recording of Robertus filius Willelmi of London, a possible reference to a son of the Conqueror. The surname is first recorded in the 13th Century and other examples include Henry Wilmot in the Hundred Rolls of Cambridgeshire in 1279, and Matilda Wylymot, in the Poll Tax Returns of Yorkshire in 1379. In the modern idiom the surname has variant spellings which include Willmett, Wilmott, Willimott, Willmutt, Willmond, Willimont, Williment, Willment and others. Examples of church recordings from surviving registers of Greater London include Joseph Willmont, christened on October 1st 1695, at St. Sepulchre church, Thomas Williment who married Mary Parnham, on May 19th 1719 at St. Pancras Old Chruch, and on August 4th 1829, Sophia Willimont who married John Alexander Robertson at St. Giles Cripplegate, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter Wilimot. This was dated 1252, in the Cartulary of Ramsey Abbey, Huntingdonshire, during the reign of King Henry 111rd, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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