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Surname Tilley - Meaning and Origin

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Tracing the Origin and History of My Surname Tilley through the iGENEA DNA Test

The iGENEA DNA test sates my curiosity about my roots, revealing an interesting journey about the origin and history of my surname, Tilley. My surname, deeply embedded in English lore, attached to the fertile fields of Shropshire, spread to Ireland before my ancestors sought new land in America. The DNA test validated historical migrations with genetic links, enriching my knowledge of my heritage.

G. Tilley

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Tilley: What does the surname Tilley mean?

Tilley is a surname of Anglo-Saxon origin. It is derived from the old English personal names such as "Till," "Tila" or "Tila," combined with the suffix "ey", which means "island", "water", "stream", or "wood". Therefore, it basically translates to "Tila's island" or "Tila's place". This name could have been related to a geographic location or property associated with an individual named Tila. The surname Tilley first appeared in the county of Somerset in South West England. Some sources also suggest that the name might have been derived from the name of a village in Hertfordshire known as 'Tilley Green'. Over the years, different variants of the surname have been used including Tilly, Tiley, Tillie, Tilie, Tili, and others. The Tilley surname is now spread throughout the English-speaking world. English surnames were largely introduced after the Norman Conquest in 1066, which brought about a huge variety in surnames. These surnames were often linked to occupations, place of origin, nicknames, or even to distinguishing physical or personal characteristics.

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Tilley: Where does the name Tilley come from?

The last name Tilley is of English origin and is most commonly found in the United Kingdom today. Most people with the surname Tilley today are descended from families who originated in England, particularly in the counties of Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire. More recently, due to increased migration, there has also been a surge in the popularity of the name Tilley in Canada.

Research texts show that a notable bearer of the surname Tilley was Edward Tilley who, along with his wife Ann and daughter Elizabeth, set sail in the Mayflower in 1620. They were among the 104 English passengers that made the famous voyage and become known as the Pilgrim Fathers. The family ended up staying in America and helped to establish the first settlement in New England.

Since then, the name Tilley has spread across the globe, with over 15,000 recorded Tilley families living in the United States alone. In the UK, Tilley is the 68th most popular last name with the majority living in the south. There is also a significant population of Tilleys in Australia and New Zealand.

Tilley is one of the oldest surviving English surnames and its prevalence in the modern world is a testament to the resilience of the Tilley Family over the centuries.

Variations of the surname Tilley

The surname Tilley has variants, spellings, and surnames of the same origin. Variations of Tilley include Tilly, Tille, Tilleu, Tilleigh, Tilsley, Tillie, Jedi, and Jedi.

Tillie, Tilsley, Tilleu, and Tilleigh are variants of Tilley, and have origins in Old French. These spellings could have been given to Tilley families who were native to France or who had French ancestry. Tilly is also a variant of Tilley, and is derived from the personal name Matilda.

In England, the surname has been spelled as Tilley, Tilleye, Tillie, Tillee, Tylly, Tullie, Tyllie, and Tili. In Scotland, the most common spelling has been Tyley or Tyly.

The English last name Tilly may also be a variant of Tile, which was derived from the Old German personal name Tile or Dietrich, which is popular amongst families from Derbyshire.

In Ireland, the surname Tilealy is thought to be a variant form of the surname Tilley, which is of Norman-French origin. In the United States, the most common spelling is Tilley and Tille, although variants also include Tillee, Tilly, Tillie, and Tilleigh.

Other surnames of the same origin include Till, Tiller, Tillman, Tillett, Tilley, Tolea, Tule, Tull, Tullie, Tile, and Tyll.

Famous people with the name Tilley

  • Jenny Tillley: British television presenter
  • Scott Tilley: Canadian astronomer
  • Bill Tilley: Former Australian politician
  • Lillian Tilley: American actress
  • Keshawn Tilley: American football player
  • Michael Tilley: American baseball player
  • David Tilley: English actor
  • Daniel Tilley: Former Australian politician
  • Hugh Tilley: Indian astrophysicist
  • Eileen Tilley: English tennis player
  • George Tilley: English singer
  • John Tilley: Former British politician
  • Lily Tilley: Australian concert pianist
  • Cat Tilley: American downhill mountain biker
  • Tom Tilley: Australian radio presenter
  • Coleman Tilley: Former British politician
  • Tammy Tilley: Canadian Paralympic swimmer
  • William Tilley: American neurologist and psychoanalyst
  • Bob Tilley: Former British politician
  • Rich Tilley: American broadcast journalist

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