This name was a baptismal name 'son of William'.The name was originally derived from the Old French Guillaume, and was brought into England in the wake of the Norman Invasion of 1066. The earliest name on record appears to be Giliaum (without surname) who was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086. Many of the early names recorded in medieval documents denote noble families but many also indicate migration from the continent during, and in the wake of, the Norman invasion of 1066. There was a constant stream of merchants, workmen and others arriving in England during this time. In 1086 the Record of Great Inquisition of lands of England, their extent, value, ownership and liabilities was made by order of William The Conquerer. It is known as the Domesday Book. Other records of the name mention William Giliam who was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax in 1379. Arnold Gilleme was documented in County Lancashire in the year 1453. Later instances of the name include William, son of Richard Gyllam, who was baptised at St.James, Clerkenwell, London in 1605. Samuel Gillham and Martha Allen were married at St.Georges, Hanover Square. London, in 1773. John Gilliam and Ann Turner were married at St.Georges, Hanover Square, London, in 1779. Since the dawn of civilisation the need to communicate has been a prime drive of all higher mankind. The more organised the social structure became, the more urgent the need to name places, objects and situations essential to the survival and existence of the social unit. From this common stem arose the requirements to identify families, tribes and individual members evolving into a pattern in evidence today. In the formation of this history, common usage of customs, trades, locations, patronymic and generic terms were often adopted as surnames. The demands of bureaucracy formally introduced by feudal lords in the 11th century, to define the boundaries and families within their fiefdoms, crystallized the need for personal identification and accountability, and surnames became in general use from this time onwards.
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