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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Tetlow family come from? What is the English Tetlow family crest and coat of arms? When did the Tetlow family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Tetlow family history?

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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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.

First found in Shropshire where they held a family seat from very ancient times, before and after the Norman Conquest of 1066.


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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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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. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  2. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  3. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  4. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  5. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  6. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  7. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  8. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  9. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  10. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  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 30 September 2014 at 15:09.

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