The Olde Lancashire placename Tyldesley, first recorded in the county court records of 1210 as 'Tildesleia' is the origin of this name. The origin is Saxon, the derivation being from the personal name 'Tilwald' plus 'leah' meaning a farm or clearing. It is probable that the original site was 'cleared' in the late medieval period either as a result of plague, famine or the enclosure acts, as the name is now found in a wide range of variant spellings. These examples include Tilsle, Thomas Tilsle being a witness at St. Olaves church, London on January 31st 1659, whilst Lawrence Tilsey was christened on July 8th 1761 at St. Sepulchres and on July 10th 1851, William Tilzey married Esther Chapman at Islington Old Church London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugo de Tildesle, which was dated 1212, The Lancashire County Pipe Rolls, during the reign of King John, 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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