This unusual name is of Anglo-Saxon or Old Scandinavian origin, and is a variant form of either of the locational surnames Kildwick or Kilnwick. The former derives from Kildwick near Skipton in West Yorkshire; the placename is a Scandinavianised form of the Olde English pre 7th Century term "Cilda-wic", from "cild(r)a", children, with "wic", used variously to mean a dairy-farm, hamlet, or settlement dependent on a nearby illage. The place is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Childeuuic", and as "Kildewike" in 1267. Kilnwick derives from either of the two places in East Yorkshire so called; Kilnwick near Great Driffield, recorded as "Chileuuit" in the Domesday Book, is named with the Olde English "cylenwic", settlement with a kiln, and Kilnwick (Percy), near Pocklington, is recorded in the Domesday Book as "Chelingewic", showing its derivation from the Olde English personal name "Cylla", with the suffix "-ing" indicating "people, tribe of", and "tun", enclosure, settlement. The surnames generated by these placenames include Kel(l)wick, Kil(l)wick, Kildwick and Kil(i)nwick. Recordings of the name from Church Registers include the marriage of Willyam Kelwyck and Mary Rushe at St. James', Clerkenwell, London, on July 11th 1615, and the christening of Christopher Kelwick at Misterton in Nottinghamshire, on March 9th 1669. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Jane Kylnewicke, which was dated 1580, christened at Kilnwick, Yorkshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

Surnames reference. 2013.

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