This most interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is an English locational name from a place called "Tyldesley", in Lancashire, which was recorded circa 1210 in the Cockersand Chartulary as "Tildesleia", and as "Tildesle" in the Feet of Fines of 1212. The placename itself derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century personal name "Tilweald", composed of the elements "til", good and "weald", rule, plus the Olde English "leah", wood, clearing. The surname has been popular in the surrounding area since the 14th Century. Locational surnames were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually to seek work, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. The surname, which is first recorded in the early 13th Century (see below), is also found in the modern idiom as Tyldeslegh, Tydsley, Tild(e)sley, Tilzey and Tillsley. John Tilsley (1614 - 1684) was present at the taking of Preston in 1643, and was made vicar of Deane, Lancashire. A Coat of Arms was granted to a Tilsley family and depicts three green hills on a silver shield; their Motto is "Ne cede malis; sed contra", Yield not to misfortunes; on the contrary, meet them with fortitude. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugo de Tildesle, which was dated 1212, in the "Feet of Fines of Lancashire", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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