This distinguished surname recorded in many forms including the popular Talbot, and the more unusual Talboy, Tallboy and Tallboys, is both English and French, but of Old French origins, pre 7th century origins. It is claimed to have two distinct possible origins, each with its own history and derivation. Firstly it may derive from the French male given name "Talebod", itself from the Old German "Talabod", and a compound of the elements "tal", meaning to destroy, with "bod", the meaning of "tidings", and hence the "messenger of destruction", a suitably war-like name for the ever-warring Dark Ages. As a personal name, this was introduced into England by the Normans after the Conquest of 1066, and a Talebod de Neweham is noted in the 1146 Book of Seals for Essex. The second possibility is that Talbot derives from the Old French "talebot", a nickname for bandits who blackened their faces to avoid recognition, "talebot" meaning "lampblack" in the dialect of Normandy. The surname has the distinction of being first recorded in the Domesday Book (see below), whilst an Irish family of the name who have held the earldoms of Shrewsbury and Waterford since the 15th Century, trace their descent from Richard Talbott, mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 for Bedfordshire. Batholome Talboys was christened at the church of St Mary Woolnoth in the city of London, on June 24th 1549, whilst Anne Tallboy, the daughter of William Tallboy, was christened at the church known as St Sepulchre, also in the city of London, on November 21st 1793. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Geoffrey Talebot. This was dated 1086, in the Domesday Book of Essex, during the reign of King William 1st of England, 1066 - 1087. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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