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Hillis Family History
This ancient surname, with over fifty entries in the Dictionary of National Biography, is derived from the Old English word 'hyll'. It has topographical origins as it initially meant simply 'a person who lived on or near a hill'. It would have become settled as a surname in England by 1400. It is a popular surname in the UK, as it is in Australia and New Zealand where it is ranked 31st and 41st most popular respectively. Over 460,000 individuals go by the Hill surname in the United States.
One of the earliest recorded references to the surname is found in Norfolk where a Gilbert del Hill was named on the Pipe Rolls for Norfolk in 1191. Another reference is also found in Worcestershire, where the manor of Hillend in Castlemorton was built on land owned by Odo de Monte (Hill in Norman French) in 1238-9. Members of the Castlemorton family included Richard Hill (living in 1383), John Hill (1408-09), and later John Hill who bequeathed a messuage to his son Thomas at the time of his death in around 1623.
Early references to the surname also appear in Scotland. The first being a William de la Hyll who held lands in Mydilham in 1271.
Michael Hill was an English politician and Member of Parliament for Saltash (1672-1699) and was appointed to the Privy Council of Ireland in 1694.
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