This interesting English surname has four possible origins. Firstly, it may be from a Norman habitational name, introduced after the Conquest of 1066, from any of the various place in Northern France called Tilly, recorded as "Tiliacum" in medieval records. The places in Eure and Calvados are so called from a Gallo-Roman personal name "Tilius", perhaps from the Latin "tilia", lime tree, and the local suffix "-acum", and the place in Seine-et-Oise is derived from the personal name "Attilius", a derivative of "Attalus", a hereditary name of uncertain etymology, and "-acum". The second source is habitational from Tilley in Shropshire, so called from the Olde English pre 7th Century "telg(e)", branch, bough, and "leah", wood, clearing. The third source is from an occupational name for a husbandman, from the Middle English "tilie", Olde English "tilia", a primary derivative of "tilian", to till, cultivate. Finally, the surname may be derived from a medieval female given name, from a diminutive of Till, which is itself a short form of Matilda, composed of the Germanic elements "maht", might, strength, and "hild", battle. Giles, son of Jacob and Grace Tiley, was christened on November 30th 1697, at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph de Tilio, which was dated 1086, in the Domesday Book of Devonshire, during the reign of King William 1, known as "The Conqueror", 1066 - 1087. 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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