Tilley last name popularity, history, and meaning

Find out how popular the last name Tilley is in the United States and learn more about the meaning, history, and race and ethnic origin of people in America who are named Tilley.

Meaning of Tilley

Derived from the Old English term for a tiler or tile maker, an occupational surname.

Tilley, like all of the last names we have data for, is identified by the U.S. Census Bureau as a surname which has more than 100 occurrences in the United States in the Decennial Census survey. The most recent statistics we have for the Tilley surname is from the 2010 census data.

Popularity of Tilley in America

Tilley is the 2318th most popular name in America based on the data we have collected from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Tilley surname appeared 15,758 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 5 people would have the surname Tilley.

We can also compare 2010 data for Tilley to data from the previous census in 2000. The table below contains all of the statistics for both years in a side-by-side comparison.

2010 2000 Change (%)
Rank 2318 2143 7.85%
Count 15,758 15,560 1.26%
Proportion per 100k 5.34 5.77 -7.74%

The history of the last name Tilley

The surname Tilley is of English origin, with roots tracing back to the 12th century. It is believed to have emerged as a locational name, derived from the Old English words 'tili' and 'leah', meaning 'fertile land' or 'meadow'. This suggests that the name may have been initially borne by individuals who resided near or owned lands with fertile soil.

One of the earliest recorded instances of the name can be found in the Pipe Rolls of Buckinghamshire from 1197, where it appears as 'de Tilli'. This reference indicates that the name was already established by the late 12th century and may have been associated with a particular place or location.

The Tilley surname is also mentioned in the Hundred Rolls of Bedfordshire from 1273, where it is spelled 'de Tylli'. This record provides evidence of the name's continued use and its potential association with the region of Bedfordshire during the 13th century.

In the 14th century, the name appears in various forms, including 'Tyly' and 'Tylie', as seen in the Court Rolls of the Manor of Wakefield from 1317. This variation in spelling was common during this period, reflecting the lack of standardized orthography.

Notable individuals bearing the Tilley surname throughout history include:

  1. John Tilley (c. 1571-1621), an English passenger on the Mayflower who settled in Plymouth Colony.
  2. Walter Tilley (c. 1600-1620), John Tilley's son, who also traveled on the Mayflower and was one of the first settlers in the Plymouth Colony.
  3. Vere Tilley (1888-1964), an English actor and playwright known for his works in the early 20th century.
  4. Maureen Tilley (born 1935), a British actress and singer who appeared in various television shows and films in the 1960s and 1970s.
  5. Robert Tilley (1915-1987), an American politician who served as the United States Ambassador to Guyana from 1979 to 1981.

While the Tilley name has its roots in England, it has since spread to other parts of the world through migration and settlement. The name has also undergone various spelling variations over time, including Tilly, Tillie, and Tylly, reflecting the fluidity of naming practices in earlier periods.

Race and ethnic origin of people with the last name Tilley

We also have some data on the ancestry of people with the surname Tilley.

The below race categories are the modified race categories used in the Census Bureau's population estimates program. All people were categorized into six mutually exclusive racial and Hispanic origin groups:

  1. White only
  2. Black only
  3. American Indian and Alaskan Native only
  4. Asian and Pacific Islander only
  5. Hispanic
  6. Two or More Races

For the most recent 2010 census data, the race/ethnic origin breakdown for Tilley was:

Race/Ethnicity Percentage Total Occurrences
Non-Hispanic White Only 87.59% 13,802
Non-Hispanic Black Only 6.75% 1,064
Non-Hispanic Asian and Pacific Islander Only 0.57% 90
Non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaskan Native 1.19% 188
Non-Hispanic of Two or More Races 1.78% 280
Hispanic Origin 2.12% 334

Note: Any fields showing (S) means the data was suppressed for privacy so that the data does not in any way identify any specific individuals.

Since we have data from the previous census in 2000, we can also compare the values to see how the popularity of Tilley has changed in the 10 years between the two census surveys.

2010 2000 Change (%)
White 87.59% 89.34% -1.98%
Black 6.75% 6.83% -1.18%
Asian and Pacific Islander 0.57% 0.36% 45.16%
American Indian and Alaskan Native 1.19% 0.95% 22.43%
Two or More Races 1.78% 1.32% 29.68%
Hispanic 2.12% 1.20% 55.42%

Data source

The last name data and ethnic breakdown of last names is sourced directly from the Decennial Census survey, conducted every 10 years by the United States Census Bureau.

The history and meaning of the name Tilley was researched and written by our team of onomatology and genealogy experts.

If you have a correction or suggestion to improve the history of Tilley, please contact us.

Reference this page

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If you found the data or information on this page useful in your research, please use the tool below to properly cite or reference Name Census as the source. We appreciate your support!

"Tilley last name popularity, history, and meaning". NameCensus.com. Accessed on July 16, 2024. http://namecensus.com/last-names/tilley-surname-popularity/.

"Tilley last name popularity, history, and meaning". NameCensus.com, http://namecensus.com/last-names/tilley-surname-popularity/. Accessed 16 July, 2024

Tilley last name popularity, history, and meaning. NameCensus.com. Retrieved from http://namecensus.com/last-names/tilley-surname-popularity/.

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