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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: Scottish, Spanish


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The surname Telles was first found in Huntingdon, where they were descended from Taillefer of Normandy, jester to King William, Duke of Normandy, who asked the Duke for a favor at Hastings. Telfer put his horse to the gallop charging before all the rest to the amazement of the English soldiers. "A name of great antiquity. The exploits of the noble jouglere Taillefer at the battle of Hastings are well-known. William, Count of Angoulesme, in a battle against the Northmen engaged their king Storis, and with one stroke of his sword Durissima, forged by the great Wayland Smith, cut in two his body and cuirass. Hence he acquired the sobriquet of Taillefer, or 'cut iron.' " [1] He was granted lands in Huntingdon, but was invited by David, Earl of Huntingdon, later to be King of Scotland, to attend him in Scotland and was granted lands in Lanarkshire.

Spelling variations of this family name include: Telfer, Talfer, Telford, Telpher, Talifero, Tailyefer, Telfair and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Telles research. Another 145 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1150, 1500, 1643 and 1683 are included under the topic Early Telles History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Telles Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Telles family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 101 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Telles Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Alonso Telles, who arrived in New Spain in 1851
  • Jose Telles, who landed in Puerto Rico in 1878

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  • Lucy Parker Telles (1870-1955), Native American basket weaver
  • Raymond L. Telles Jr. (1915-2013), the first Mexican-American Mayor of a major American city, El Paso, Texas (1957-1961), United States Ambassador to Costa Rica (1961-1967)
  • António da Cunha Telles (b. 1935), Portuguese film director and producer
  • Marcel Hermann Telles (b. 1950), Brazilian businessman, board member of AB InBev; his estimated fortune is $12.1 billion
  • Sylvia Telles (1934-1966), Brazilian jazz samba and bossa nova singer of the 1950s and 1960s
  • Lygia Fagundes Telles (b. 1923), Brazilian novelist and short-story writer
  • Alex Nicolao Telles (b. 1992), Brazilian professional footballer


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  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.

Other References

  1. Paul, Sir James Balfour. An Ordinary of Arms Contained in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland Second Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1903. Print.
  2. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  3. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  4. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  5. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Scotch Irish Pioneers In Ulster and America. Montana: Kessinger Publishing. Print.
  6. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  7. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  8. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  9. Urquhart, Blair Edition. Tartans The New Compact Study Guide and Identifier. Secauccus, NJ: Chartwell Books, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0-7858-0050-6).
  10. Adam, Frank. Clans Septs and Regiments of the Scottish Highlands 8th Edition. London: Bacon (G.W.) & Co, 1970. Print. (ISBN 10-0717945006).
  11. ...

The Telles Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Telles Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 15 October 2015 at 13:13.

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