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Surname Ills - Meaning and Origin

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Ills: What does the surname Ills mean?

The last name Ills is of German origin and means "island dweller" or "dwelt in a clearing among the islands." It is an occupational surname, typically given to those who lived on an island and made their living as fishermen, hunters, or small-scale farmers. It is believed to have originated in the Middle Rhine region along the Rhine River.

The name Ills may have first been used as a nickname for a particularly industrious island dweller. In time, it became a hereditary name, passed down from generation to generation among certain families. It is not a common surname, and today it is mostly found in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. The French equivalent is Les Iles.

The Ills family crest typically consists of three islands, symbolizing the struggle of overcoming isolation as well as the accomplishments of those who managed to thrive on these isolated islands. The crest often includes attributes such as a ship, a net, and a fish. These objects represent the sustenance gained through the means of fishing, and the courage to brave the uncertain waters of the surrounding ocean.

In summary, the last name Ills is one of relatively few German surnames originating in an occupational context. It is associated with the struggle of island living, the intelligence and skill needed to overcome the isolation, and the courage to navigate unknown waters. It is an appropriate name for anyone with a strong connection to the sea, to island life, or to overcoming obstacles.

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Ills: Where does the name Ills come from?

The surname Ills is common across Europe but is most popular in regions of Germany, Austria, and the Netherlands. It is derived from the Middle High German "ills", which is another form of the Celtic name "illschalk" or "ihselch", meaning "noble talker". Ills is a relatively rare name in the English speaking world and is not seen frequently outside of the German-speaking regions.

The name Ills is also found in a variety of spellings including “Ylls”, “Ils”, “Ulls”, or “Ihl”. It is often combined with the suffix “er” or “mann”, previously used to denote family members descended from the same ancestor until the 19th century. This was later changed to an -s, leading to the “Ills” version of the name.

Due its origin in the Germanic language, Ills is still a prevalent name in countries such as Germany, Austria, and the Netherlands, Surname databases such as Forebears show the name Ills is popular in these countries, with a high concentration in Germany, Austria and the Netherlands. There has been a subtle trend for people with this surname to migrate out of Europe, as more people move to other countries such as the United States, Canada, and Australia. As a result, the name Ills can now be found in many parts of the world such as the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand.

Variations of the surname Ills

The surname Ills has various variants, spellings, and surnames of the same origin. These include Illse, Illes, Iller, Illers, Ill, and Illerich.

The surname Ills is of German origin and is derived from regional names that originate from Lower Saxony and Rhineland named Ill and Iller. The regional names refer to the Ill River in the Elz Valley which is a tributary of Lahn River, as well as the Iller River in Bavaria.

The Illse spelling is derived from the Early Middle High German word "illa", which is related to a watercourse. It may also be derived from a similar nickname related to a person's character or demeanor, such as a person with a sanguine disposition being referred to as "lla" or "ille". The Iller variant is most likely derived from the Iller river.

The Illerich variant is a combination of two German words, "ill" and "erich", meaning "owner of Ill". The surname Illers is likely derived from the Iller river, whereas the Singhofen variant of Ills is German in origin, with Singhofen meaning "lion's den".

Overall, the surname Ills and its variants all stem from German roots, referring to either regional names near rivers, or derivations of nicknames related to a person's character.

Famous people with the name Ills

  • Brad Ills: Major League Baseball pitcher for the Minnesota Twins in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
  • Ryan Ills: Professional Hockey goalie who played for the San Jose Sharks in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
  • Frank Ills: American singer-songwriter, best known for his hit "One More Try" in the late 1980s.
  • Charles Ills: Union general in the American Civil War, and served as the Provost Marshal of the United States during Abraham Lincoln's administration.
  • Cathy Ills: British actress known for her roles in Death at a Funeral (2007) and Fresh Meat (2012).
  • Etta Ills: Professional tennis player who competed in the US Open in the early 1980s.
  • Andrew Ills: Canadian sculptor who sculpted monuments in numerous Canadian cities and towns.
  • D.A. Ills: American author whose books include the critically acclaimed non-fiction work "The Force of Nature".
  • Lola Ills: American artist noted for her large scale abstract canvas art.
  • Chad Ills: Former professional wrestler in the late 1990s and early 2000s, known for his iconic entrance and catch phrase "Go Ill Treachery!"

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