This unusual surname is of early medieval English origin, and is a metronymic from the medieval female given name "Till", "Till" being a short form of the Norman name "Mathilde, Matilda", composed of the Old Germanic elements "mahti" meaning might, strength, with "hild", battle. The Latinized form "Matilda", became a favourite Christian name after the Norman Invasion of 1066, for it was borne by William the Conqueror's wife, to whom the Bayeux Tapestry is traditionally ascribed. This is one of a handful of surnames surviving which were derived from the name of the first bearer's mother. This is because European society has been almost invariably patriarchal throughout history, and as a result the given name of the male head of the household has been handed on as a distinguishing name to successive generations. The surname has many variant spellings ranging from Telleson, Tellson and Tellison, to Tillison and Tillotson. John Tellson married Mary Myshel on September 2nd 1610, at Heptonstall, York, and on March 31st 1765, Anne Tillesen married Anders Hansen, in Asker, Norway. On June 2nd 1884, George Robert Tellesson (born February 19th 1859) married Elizabeth Egan, at Walton-on-the-Hill, Lancashire. The Coat of Arms most associated with the family is a gold shield, on an azure bend between two azure garbs a gold mitre stringed, and the Crest being an arm embowed, vested and ruffled silver, holding in the hand proper a red crosier, head and point gold. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Tillotson, which was dated 1379, in the "Poll Tax Returns of Yorkshire", during the reign of King Richard 11, known as "Richard of Bordeaux", 1377 - 1399. 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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