This interesting and unusual surname is a variant of Golightly, which is of Scottish origin, and is an altered form of a surname of uncertain origin, possibly locational from a now "lost" place. An estimated seven to ten thousand villages and hamlets are known to have disappeared in Britain since circa 1100, due to such natural disasters as the Black Death of 1348, in which an eight of the population perished, or to the widespread practice of "clearing" large areas of land to make sheep pastures during the height of the wool-trade in the 14th and 15th Centuries. The surname is first recorded in Scotland with one William Galithli (charter witness) in the Register of the Abbey of Aberbrothloc in circa 1200 - 1207. Henry Gellatly, an illegitimate son of "William the Lion", was the grandfather of Patrick Galythly, one of the pretenders to the crown of Scotland in 1291. Among the sample recordings in Scotland is the christening of David, son of James Galletly and Margaret Addie, on November 28th 1665 at Dundee, Angus. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Rannulf Golicthli, which was dated 1196, in the "Pipe Rolls of Cambridgeshire", during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "The Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. 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.