Show ContentsTill History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Till is one of the names that was brought to England in the wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Till family lived in Dorset. Their name, however, is a reference to Tilley, Normandy, the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. While many of the family went to England, some remained in Normandy. One of the oldest records of the name found there was Haymon de Tellia listed in Normandy in 960. "Robert de Tilly, and the Castle and Barony of Tilly, Normandy" [1] was listed in a roll dated 1180-95.

"This family, one of the most illustrious in Normandy took their name from the castle and barony of Tilly, near Caen, of which they were Castellans. Henry de Tilly held the castle in 1165, Ralph de Tilly held lands in Devon [2]; and his descendants continued there till the time of Richard Coeur de Lion, when they were seated at Woonford (Wonford, Devon)." [3]

Early Origins of the Till family

The surname Till was first found in Dorset where they held a family seat at Mersewood, where Henry Tilley from Tilley near Caen in Calvados acquired the confiscated estates of Geoffrey de Mandevill in 1083. The Domesday Book of 1086 lists Ralph de Tilly as holding lands in Devon in 1083. [2]

"In the beginning of the same reign Henry de Tilly, of West-Harptree-Tilly, in Somersetshire, paid £14 15s. as scutage for the King's ransom. His descendants had several other possessions in the county: the last of them mentioned by Collinson is Lionel Tilly, Lord of Salthay, 13 Henry VI. In the time of Stephen the greater part of the confiscated barony of Geoffrey de Mandeville had been granted to De Tilly. Mersewood in Dorset was its caput baroniae. But, after a suit pursued by three successive generations, Robert de Mandeville recovered it from Henry de Tilly in the beginning of King John's reign." [3]

"In South Yorkshire we find 'the family bearing the hereditary name of Tilly enjoying great interests in the dark days before the reign of Henry III.'" Hunter.

"Otho de Tilly was the Seneschal or Steward of Coningsburgh Castle under Hameline Earl Warren during the reigns of Stephen and Henry II.; and erected a cross on the market place at Doncaster, of which the remains (now removed to Hobcross Hill, a little south of the town), are still preserved." [3]

"The manor of West-Draynes [in Cornwall] formerly belonged to the family of Carew. It afterwards passed to that of Tillie, and it is now the property of J. Tillie Coryton, Esq." [4]

Early History of the Till family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Till research. Another 136 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1316, 1322, 1314, 1324, 1325, 1322, 1494, 1457, 1458, 1571 and 1620 are included under the topic Early Till History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Till Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Till include Tilley, Tiley and others.

Early Notables of the Till family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was William Celling, or perhaps more accurately Tilly of Selling (d. 1494), who derived his name, according to Leland, from the village of Celling, or Selling, some two miles distant from Faversham in Kent: Hasted, however, assigns him to a family settled at Selling near Hythe. He appears to have been a monk of Christ Church...
Another 62 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Till Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Till Ranking

In the United States, the name Till is the 7,936th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [5]

Ireland Migration of the Till family to Ireland

Some of the Till family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Till migration to the United States +

In England at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first Tills to arrive on North American shores:

Till Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Mr. John Till, (b. 1615), aged 20, British settler traveling aboard the ship "Constance" arriving in Virginia in 1635 [6]
  • Daniel Till, who arrived in Virginia in 1655 [7]
Till Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Rosamond Till, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1700 [7]
  • Alixander Till, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1729 [7]
  • Alexander Till, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1729
  • Niclaus Till, who landed in Carolina in 1736 [7]
  • Niclaus Till, his wife Anna Maria During, and their six children, who settled in Carolina in 1737
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Till Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Peter Till, aged 21, who arrived in New York, NY in 1849 [7]

Canada Till migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Till Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Jacob Till U.E. who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784 [8]

Australia Till migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Till Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Thomas Till, (b. 1791), aged 25, English convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Elizabeth" in May 1816, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, he was executed in 1822 [9]
  • William Till, English convict from Sussex, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on October 22nd, 1824, settling in New South Wales, Australia [10]

New Zealand Till migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Till Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Martha Till, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Cossipore" in 1857
  • Caroline Till, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Cossipore" in 1857
  • John Till, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Cossipore" in 1857
  • Ann Till, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Cossipore" in 1857
  • Mary Till, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Cossipore" in 1857
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Till (post 1700) +

  • James Edgar Till OC, O.Ont, FRSC (b. 1931), Canadian University of Toronto biophysicist, co-discoverer with Ernest McCulloch of stem cells in 1961
  • Emmett Louis "Bobo" Till (1941-1955), American teenager from Chicago, Illinois whose murder energized the American Civil Rights Movement
  • William Till, American politician, Mayor of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1742-43 [11]
  • George A. Till, American politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from New York 40th District, 1916 [11]
  • Peter Till (b. 1985), English footballer
  • John Till (1945-2022), Canadian musician, co-founder of the Stratford band The Revols
  • John Till Allingham (1799-1810), English dramatist, the son of a wine merchant in the city of London [12]
  • Till Backhaus, German politician and minister

HMS Hood
  • Mr. William E C Till (b. 1913), English Shipwright 3rd Class serving for the Royal Navy from Portsmouth, Hampshire, England, who sailed into battle and died in the HMS Hood sinking [13]
  • Mr. Jack C Till (b. 1920), English Telegraphist serving for the Royal Navy from Andover, Hampshire, England, who sailed into battle and died in the HMS Hood sinking [13]

  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 3 of 3
  4. ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  5. ^
  6. ^ Pilgrim Ship's of 1600's (Retrieved October 5th 2021, retrieved from
  7. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  8. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  9. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 1st March 2022). Retrieved from
  10. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1824 with 9 passengers. Retrieved from
  11. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 1) . Retrieved from
  12. ^ Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 17 Apr. 2019
  13. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from on Facebook