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


The name Tetlow is an old Anglo-Saxon name. It comes from when a family lived in the village of Tetley found in the counties of Lancashire and Cheshire. Tetlow is a topographic surname, which was given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a hill, stream, church, or type of tree. During the Middle Ages, as society became more complex, individuals needed a way to be distinguishable from others. Toponymic surnames were developed as a result of this need. Various features in the landscape or area were used to distinguish people from one another. In this case the surname Tetlow was originally derived from the Old English personal name Taeta from the Old Norse word Teitr meaning cheerful and the Old English word leah menaing wood clearing. In this case the original bearers of the surname Tetlow were named due to their close proximity to Taeta's wood clearing.

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The surname Tetlow was first found in Shropshire where they held a family seat from very ancient times, before and after the Norman Conquest of 1066.

Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Tetlow were recorded, including Tetley, Tetlow, Tetlaw, Titley and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Tetlow research. Another 270 words (19 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Tetlow History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Tetlow family emigrate to North America:

Tetlow Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Nicholas Tetlow settled in Virginia in 1635

Tetlow Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • James, John, Thomas, and William Tetlow arrived in Philadelphia between 1860 and 1880

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  • William James "Jim" Tetlow (b. 1955), American Daytime Emmy Award winning television and theatrical lighting designer
  • Sonia Tetlow, American songwriter and musician
  • Brigadier Stephen John Tetlow MBE (b. 1954), British engineer and former senior British Army officer


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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Praemium virtutis honor
Motto Translation: Honor is the reward of virtue.

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  1. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  2. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  3. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  4. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  5. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  6. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  7. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  9. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  10. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  11. ...

The Tetlow Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Tetlow 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 21 March 2016 at 07:50.

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