This surname WHILEMAN is a baptismal name 'the son of Gilmyn'. The name was brought to England in the wake of the Norman Conquest of 1066. The name is also spelt WILMAN, WILEMAN and WILLMAN. Early records of the name mention WILAMAN filius Gilandi, who was recorded in the year 1100 in County Yorkshire. Other names mentioned include John WYLEMIN of County Bucks who appears in 1273. William WYLEMAN of County Cambridge and John WYLEMYN of London were all mentioned in the same year. Walter WILMIN of County Oxfordshire, John WILEMYN of County Bucks and WYLEMYN Coc of County Kent were both recorded in the year 1300. Cristopher Wylemyn was documented during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377) in County Somerset. Gilmyn Rogeri of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379 as was Johannes WYLEMYN. Waldeof filius WILMAN was recorded in Yorkshire in the year 1400. Most of the European surnames were formed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The process had started somewhat earlier and had continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the tenth and eleventh centuries people did not have surnames, whereas by the fifteenth century most of the population had acquired a second name. Over the centuries, most people in Europe have accepted their surname as a fact of life, as irrevocable as an act of God. However much the individual may have liked or disliked the surname, they were stuck with it, and people rarely changed them by personal choice. A more common form of variation was in fact involuntary, when an official change was made, in other words, a clerical error. Among the humbler classes of European society, and especially among illiterate people, individuals were willing to accept the mistakes of officials, clerks and priests as officially bestowing a new version of their surname, just as they had meekly accepted the surname they had been born with. In North America, the linguistic problems confronting immigration officials at Ellis Island in the 19th century were legendary as a prolific source of Anglicization. Later instances of the name include Harry WHILEMAN and Alice Worship, who were married at St. Antholin, London in the year 1563, and William WILLMAN and Elizabeth Jackson were wed at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in the year 1753.
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