This unusual and interesting surname of English origin is a topographical name for someone dwelling at the thirlway, i.e. the road leading through the breach or gateway in the Roman Wall. The surname dates back to the late 16th Century, (see below). Variations in the idiom of the spelling include Thirleway, Thirlwaye, Thirlewaye, Thurleway, etc.. One, Annes, daughter of John Thirlwaye, was christened at Newcastle Upon Tyne on September 12th 1605. Jane Thurleway married Timothy Geg at St. James, Dukes Place, London, on July 18th 1682, and Thomas Thirlaway married Anne Thompson on December 9th 1769, at Wallsend, Northumberland. Ann Thirlaway married William Smith on October 14th 1781, at St. James, Westminster. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry Thirlewaye, christened, which was dated 1581, Berwick Upon Tweed, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.