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GILLINGHAM Family History

This interesting surname is of English locational origin from places in Dorset, Norfolk and Kent, so called from the Old English pre 7th Century "Gythlingaham" and translating as "the homestead, (Old English "ham"), of the people of Gythla". Gythla is a personal name of great antiquity, containing the element "gyth", battle, but ultimately going back to "Geatas", the Scandinavian people to whom Beowulf belonged. The first mentioned place appeared as "Gillingaham" in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle relating to Dorset, dated 1016, whereas the Norfolk placename was initially recorded as Gelingeham in Ancient Charters of that County, dated 1107-1118.

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