This long-established surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from the parish of Tilbrook, north west of Kimbolton in the former county of Huntingdonshire (now part of Cambridgeshire). Recorded as "Tilebroc" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and as "Tillebroc" in the 1206 Assize Court Rolls of Cambridgeshire; the place was so called from the Olde English pre 7th Century personal name "Tila", from "til", capable, with "brock", water-meadow, marsh, brook, stream; hence, "Tila's broc". This personal name also forms the first element of East and West Tilbury, Essex, recorded as "Tilaburg" as early as the year 730 in Bede's, "Historia Ecclesiastica", and Tilford in Surrey, noted as "Tileford", circa 1140. Locational surnames, such as this, were originally given to local landowners, and the lord of the manor, and especially as a means of identification to those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. On October 22nd 1564, Stephen Tilbrook and Agnes Dale were married at Dullingham, Cambridgeshire, and on November 10th 1572, Agnes Tilbrook married John Carrow at Dullingham. One of the earliest recordings of the name in London was the marriage of Robert Tilbroke to Joan Haule at St. Nicholas', Cole Abbey. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Tilbroc, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Lincolnshire", during the reign of King Edward 1, 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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