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HILLIER Family History
Family spelling variants include Hilyer, Hillyer, Hilliar, Hillyar, Hilliard, Hillyard.
There are approximately 20,696 Hillier family members around the world. In general you can double this figure to include those related to the Hillier names to allow for those connected to the name through maiden name connections.
It is estimated that the largest group of Hillier family members live in England with 6,840 (33%) members, Canada with 5,050 (24.4%), Australia with 3,147 (15.2%), USA with 3,079 (14.9%), South Africa with 1,187 (5.7%), Wales with 745 (3.6%), Scotland with 302 (1.5%), New Zealand with 253 (1.2%) and Ireland with 93 (0.4%) members.
An English occupational name from Middle English hil(l)ier ‘roofer, slater, tiler’. From an agent derivative of Middle English hele(n) ‘to cover’ (Old English helian).
The name was interchangeable with Hiller.
In French, it is derived from the personal name Hillier (Hillary).
Early bearers of the surname include: Robert le Hillier, 1347 in Close Rolls (Beds); Steven Hillier, 1562 in IGI (Branscombe, Devon); William Hillier, 1566, William Hilliar, 1701 in IGI (Salford, Beds); Richard Hyllyar, 1572 in IGI (Gloucester, Gloucs); John Hilliar, 1611 in IGI (Farnham, Surrey); Edward Hilliar, 1628 in IGI (Wendover, Bucks); Thomas Hylliar, 1642 in IGI (Courteenhall, Northants); Humphrey Hillier, 1697 in IGI (Bishops Cannings, Wilts); Richard Hillier, 1799 in IGI (Chale, Hants).
In 1891 Census, there were 4,266 occurrences of the surname in England and Wales, with a fewer 3 occurrences in Scotland.
In 1881 Census, the surname was widespread, especially in Wiltshire and Surrey. Hampshire was also recorded as a top county with 436 occurrences.
In 1881, the most common Hillier occupation in the UK was Agricultural Labourer. Agricultural Labourer, Labourer and Farmer were the top 3 reported jobs worked by Hillier. A less common occupation was Bricklayer.
The noted, Sir Harold George Hillier (1905-1985), was an English horticulturist, founder and namesake of Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, Hampshire.
1881, 1891 Census
1881 Census in Hampshire
Dictionary of American Family Homes, P Hanks OUP 2003
Homes of Family Names in Great Britain, H.B. Guppy, London 1890
The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland, P.Hanks, Coats, McClure OUP 2016
1860 Lower, Mark A Patronymica Britannica: a dictionary of the family names of the United Kingdom, London: J.R Smith. Public Domain
1857 Arthur, William An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. New York: Sheldon, Blakeman. Public Domain
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