This surname of DILLARD was a baptismal name 'the son of DILL'. It was an ancient personal name which still flourished in County Somerset. The name is also spelt DILL, DILLE, DILLER, DILLARDS and DILLS. The earliest of the name on record appears to be Geoffrey DYLLE, who was recorded in County Somerset during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377), and Adam DILLE of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Hereditary surnames were originally imported from France into England during the Norman Conquest of 1066. In the two centuries or so after the Conquest surnames were acquired by most families of major landholders, and many landed families of lesser importance. There appears to have been a constant trickle of migration into Britain between about the years 1200 and 150O, mostly from France and the Low Countries, with a small number of migrants from Scandinavia, Germany, Italy and the Iberian peninsular, and occasional individuals from further afield. During this period groups of aliens settled in this country as for example, the Germans who from the late 15th century onwards settled in Cumbria to work the metal mines. Immigration during this time had only a small effect on the body of surnames used in Britain. In many cases, the surnames of immigrants were thoroughly Anglicised. The late sixteenth century saw the arrival, mostly in London and the south-coast ports of large numbers of people fleeing from the war regions of France. Joseph DILL and Faith Staples, were married at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in the year 1637. A notable member of the name was Sir John Gree DILL (1881-1944) the English soldier, educated at Cheltenham College and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. He served with the East Lancashire Regiment in the 2nd Boer War (1899-1902) and World War I. in which he was decorated and promoted brigadier general. He was head of the British Service Mission in Washington from 1941. He was buried in Arlington Cemetery and posthumously decorated by the US president. In the Middle Ages heraldry came into use as a practical matter. It originated in the devices used to distinguish the armoured warriors in tournament and war, and was also placed on seals as marks of identity. As far as records show, true heraldry began in the middle of the 12th century, and appeared almost simultaneously in several countries of Western Europe.
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