This uncommon and interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is an occupational surname for a husbandman, a farmer or farm labourer, one who tills the soil. The name derives from the Middle English term "tiliere tilyer", a derivative of the Old English pre 7th Century verb "tilian", to till, cultivate. The Middle English word replaced an earlier form, "tilie", from the Old English "tilia", which was the base for the modern surname Till(e)y. The development of the surname from the former source includes William le Tiller (1327, The Worcestershire Subsidy Rolls) and Alan le Tyliere (1327, The Suffolk Subsidy Rolls). The modern surname can be found as Tiller, Tillier, Tillyer and Tilyer, and as Tillyard and Tillman. The marriage of one Richard Tillyer and Constance Wells was recorded at St. Olave's, Hart Street, London, on February 20th 1655. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John le Tillere, which was dated 1299, Calendar of Letter Books of the City of London, during the reign of King Edward 1, "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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