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Surname Tilles - Meaning and Origin

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Tilles: What does the surname Tilles mean?

The last name Tilles is of German and Jewish origin. It is an occupational surname, derived from the word 'til', meaning a threshing floor or farmyard. It indicates that the original bearer of the name was someone who maintained a threshing floor - a farmyard area where farmers would thresh their grain and separate the husks from the edible seed. The name is thought to have arisen as a nickname for a hardworking farmhand who was responsible for the upkeep of the threshing floor.

Today, the surname can be found across Europe and European diaspora communities, including countries such as the U.S., Canada and Australia. People with the surname Tilles can often trace their family history back to Germany, where it is one of the more common surnames.

The name has expanded and adapted over the centuries, and now covers several spelling variations, including Tils, Tile, Tille and Tyles. It is sometimes confused with the similar name Tilley, which has a different origin and is most commonly found in England.

No matter the spelling variation, the last name Tilles is most often associated with hard work, resourcefulness and determination. People with this surname can be proud to know that their ancestors worked hard to create the life they have today.

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Tilles: Where does the name Tilles come from?

The last name Tilles is most commonly found in Central and Eastern Europe, particularly in Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovakia. It is less often found in other parts of Europe, such as Scandinavia, Italy, and France. In the United States, the Tilles surname is strongly associated with German immigration of the 18th and 19th centuries. The name is clustered primarily in the Midwest, particularly in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Iowa. It is also found in other parts of the country, especially in areas in which German immigrants settled, such as Texas and the Dakotas.

In the United Kingdom, the name is associated with Jewish immigrants from Central and Eastern Europe, mainly in London. Occasionally it may be found in other parts of the United Kingdom and Ireland, although it is not considered to be a common name.

Today, the Tilles name remains relatively uncommon in the United States. According to the Social Security Administration’s database, it is the 3,247th most popular surname in the United States. In the United Kingdom, the Office of National Statistics lists the name as the 10,619th most popular surname.

Variations of the surname Tilles

The surname Tilles has many variants and can be found in various forms and spellings throughout history and across countries. Some of the variants of the surname Tilles include Tiles, Tillis, Tile, Till, Tillman, Dill, Dillero, Diland, Dil, Tilley, Tee, Teel, Tilly, Tillett, Tillotson, Thiel, Thill, Theel, and Thyl.

Though contrary to popular belief, Tilles is not exclusively of English origin. Instead, the surname originated in Prussia and was anglicized when the family immigrated and settled in England during the early sixteenth century.

Another form of the surname Tilles has its roots in the Germanic ‘dat-l’, which means ‘folk’ or ‘people’. This variant is often found spelled as Till, Dill, and Thyl. The Italian variant of the surname is found as Diland or Dilander; this form of the surname is thought to have derived from the Germanic ‘diland’, meaning ‘great or sizeable meadow’.

Tilles is also sometimes found as Tillman, originating from Old German ‘tiler’. A tiler is described as ‘one who works with roof tiles’, indicating the trade of an individual’s ancestor as a roof tiler. Another variant of the surname Tilles is Teel, which is found mostly in the United States of America. This variant is thought to have come from England in the 1700s and is found most often in the Southern State of South Carolina.

Overall, the surname Tilles is derived from a variety of origins including German, Prussian, English, and Italian. Regardless of the origin and spelling of the surname, they all describe a shared ancestry and family history.

Famous people with the name Tilles

  • Leslie Tilles: An American film producer, known as an executive producer in films such as The Boondock Saints and Con Air.
  • Alice Tilles: An artist and photographer born in 1947, whose works are in the collections of museums and galleries around the world.
  • Mary Tilles: A former prosecutor who currently serves as the executive director of the Ohio Justice and Policy Center.
  • Chris Tilles: A former professional American football player known for his tenure as a tight end with the Dallas Cowboys and San Diego Chargers.
  • Vera Tilles: An American actress and comedian best known for her recurring role in the hit ABC show, Happy Endings.
  • Philip Tilles: An American attorney and co-founder of Cody & Tilles, one of the largest law firms in California.
  • Raymond Tilles: An American businessman and multifaceted personality who is the CEO of one of the largest privately held finance companies in the country, Tilles Investors.
  • Max Tilles: An American entrepreneur most notable for having founded Emmy Consulting, an IT consulting firm that specializes in software development and business analysis.
  • Sam Tilles: An award-winning television producer and director best known for his work on the shows Greggo’s Game Show and Small Dog Tales.
  • Issac Tilles: An American entertainer, most famous for being the lead singer of the post-grunge rock band St. Marie.

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