This uncommon name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational surname deriving from the place called Tilford near Farnham in Surrey. The place is recorded in the "Monasticon Anglicanum" circa 1140 as "Tileford", and is so called from either the Olde English pre 7th Century "til", convenient, or the Olde English personal name "Tila", from "til", in the sense of "capable", with "ford", ford. Locational surnames were acquired by the lord of the manor, and local landowners, and especially by those former inhabitants of a place who had moved to another area, usually in search of work, and who were thereafter best identified by the name of their birthplace. Examples of the surname from various Church Registers include: the marriage of Mary Tylford and William Bingham in London, on August 28th 1573; the marriage of Katharin Tilford and George Hawkins on November 14th 1681, at St. Mary's, Guildford, Surrey; and the christening of George, son of Edward Tillford, in Greenwich, Kent, on May 8th 1687. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry Tayleford, which was dated November 4th 1562, witness to his daughter Johane's christening, at St. Martin's, Ludgate, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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