Jillian History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Jillian was brought to England in the wave of migration that followed the Norman Conquest of 1066. Jillian is based on the Old French given name Guillaume. The name Guillaume was modified into two forms after arriving in England: Gillham and William.

Early Origins of the Jillian family

The surname Jillian was first found in Suffolk where Giliana was listed in the Feet of Fines in 1198. [1] Many of the family stayed in Normandy as in the same year, Udon Galien was listed there. [2] Due the prevalence to the often personal name, the name was scattered in early censuses as show by the Rotuli Hundredorum of 1279 which listed Gilianus de Levekenore Buckinghamshire and Adam filius Jellion in Cheshire. [1]

Years later the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed the name as both a personal name and a surname: Petnis Gillam; Willelmus Giliam; Giliaum Spyser, 1379; and Ricardus Gillumman, i.e. the servant of Gillura. [3]

Early History of the Jillian family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Jillian research. Another 95 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1276, 1283, 1379, 1524, 1636, 1682, 1665, 1701, 1690 and 1699 are included under the topic Early Jillian History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Jillian Spelling Variations

A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Gillham, Gillam, Gilliam, Gilham, Gillem, Gillum, Giliam, Gwillam, Gwillham, Gwilliam, Gwilham, Gyllham, Gylham and many more.

Early Notables of the Jillian family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Zachariah Gillam (Guillam) (1636-1682) American sea captain involved in the early days of the Hudson's Bay Company. Benjamin Gillam, American sea captain, brother of Zachariah, who in 1665 commanded the Charles which brought Radisson and Groseilliers to England where they began the foundation of the Hudson's Bay Company; and James Gilliam, also known as James Kelly, (died 1701), an English pirate active in...
Another 70 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Jillian Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Jillian family

Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Jillian or a variant listed above: Benjamin Gillam, a ships carpenter, who made the trip in 1635 and settled in Boston. Susan Gilham made her home in Jamaica in 1661; Susan Gilham settled in Barbados in 1661.

Contemporary Notables of the name Jillian (post 1700) +

  • Ann Jillian (1950-1980), born Ann Jura Nauseda, American Golden Globe Award winning actress, best known for her role as Cassie Cranston on the 1980s sitcom It's a Living
  • Jillian Isobel "Jill" Roe AO (1940-2017), Australian historian and academic
  • Jillian Marie Warry (b. 1996), birth name of Canadian actress, television hostess, and radio host Jillian Marie Barberie, also known as Jillian Reynolds by marriage
  • Jillian Leigh Wunderlich (b. 1990), American model, Miss Indiana USA 2011, Miss Florida Teen USA 2008
  • Jillian Fargey, Canadian Genie Award nominated actress, known for her work on Protection (2000), Life-Size (2000) and Nostalgia Boy (2006)
  • Jillian D'Alessio (b. 1985), Canadian sprint kayaker
  • Jillian Noel "Jill" Hennessy (b. 1968), Canadian television and film actress, director, writer, and producer from Edmonton, Alberta
  • Jillian Brevorka, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from North Carolina, 2004 [4]

  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 25) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html

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