Recorded as Tailbey, Tailby, Tilbey, Talbey, Talby, Tealby, Tilbury, Tilberry, Tolby and probably others, this is an ancient English surname. It is locational and either from a now "lost" medieval village, or from any of three parishes in the county of Essex. These are East and West Tilbury, first recorded as Tilaburg in Bede's famous "Historia Ecclesiastica" in 730 a.d., and as Estillebery and Westtillebire in the tax rolls known as the Feet of Fines for Essex dated 1199 - 1203, and Tilbury juxta Clare, which appears as Tiliberia in the Domesday Book of 1086, and as "Tyllebery" in the Valuation of the see of Norwich, dated 1254. All these places share the same meaning and have as their initial element the Olde English pre 7th Century personal name "Tila", from "til", meaning capable, and "burg", usually translating as a fortified place, and a reference to a Roman castle or camp. Later burg, burgh and borough denoted a town as in Edinburgh. Locational surnames were originally given either to the local lord of the manor and his or sometimes her, descendants, or as a means of identification to those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. Early recordings include Richard de Tillebyr in the Hundred Rolls of landowners of Essex in 1273, Symond Talbey, a christening witness at the church of St Michael Bassishaw, on March 8th 1573, and Francis Tailbeyt who married Henry Pemble at Allhallows, London Wall, on December 6th 1688. The first recorded namebearer is believed to have been Gervase de Tilabury who was present at a meeting of Emperor Frederick 1st of the Holy Roman Empire and Pope Alexander 111rd in 1177. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.