The Anglo-Saxon pre 8th century female personal name 'Matilda' is the basis of this name. 'Matilda' translates as 'the mighty battle maid', a striking description which no doubt accounted for much of its popularity. The immediate derivations were, Tilda, Tilla and Tulla and after these became surnames in their own right, patronymic diminutives soon followed i.e. 'son of Till or Tull'. In this case the name means 'little Till or Tull' implying either a son or daughter. There are several modern spellings including Tillett, Tillott, Tollet, Tallet, Taylot, Tullot, Tollit, and Tullett, all have exactly the same origin and meaning. Amongst the early recordings are those of Mary Tollet who married Mathias White at St. Mary le Bone on August 4th, 1682, whilst John Tollit married Elizabeth Whitehall at St. Pancras Old Church, London on March 15th, 1823. Joseph Tullie was one of the earliest settlers in the colonies of New England. He emigrated to Virginia in 1635. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of George Tillote, which was dated 1279, in the Pipe Rolls of Oxford, during the reign of King Edward l, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272-1307. 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.
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