Hillary Family History
Hillary Name Meaning
English (of Norman origin):: from the Middle English and Old French male or female personal name Hilari(e) Ilari(e) and Elari(e) from Latin Hilarius and Hilaria ‘joyful’ (from Greek hilaros). The Latin name was chosen by many early Christians to express their joy and hope of salvation and was borne by several saints including a 4th-century bishop of Poitiers (died 368) noted for his vigorous resistance to the Arian heresy and a 5th-century bishop of Arles. Largely due to veneration of Saint Hilarius of Poitiers the name became popular in France in the forms Hilari and Hilaire and was brought to England by the Norman conquerors. Although quite popular in France it was only occasionally used in England where it was confused with the name in 2 below. from the rare Middle English or Old French male or female personal name Eulari(e) an altered form of Latin Eulalius and Eulalia derivatives of the Greek male name Eulalos ‘sweetly speaking’ (literally ‘well-speaking’ chosen by early Christians as a reference to the gift of tongues). A Saint Eulalia was crucified at Barcelona in the reign of the Emperor Diocletian and became the patron of that city. In England the name underwent dissimilation of the sequence -l-l- to -l-r- and the unfamiliar initial vowel was also distorted so that eventually the name was considered no more than a feminine form of Hilary (of which the initial aspirate was in any case variable). The Latinized forms in English documents imply Middle English variants such as Eilari(e) exclusive to this name as well as Elari(e) Hillari(e) and Illari(e) shared by the name in 1 above.
Source: Dictionary of American Family Names 2nd edition, 2022