This unusual name derives from the Olde French "teil" meaning "a lime tree". Its ultimate origin is the latin "tilia" and it is a topographic name given to one residing by a lime tree. The surname from this source is first recorded in the early half of the 14th Century, (see below). In the modern idiom the surname can be spelt as Tillard, Tillards, Tilliard and Tilliards.The name is particularly well recorded in London Church Registers from the late 16th Century onwards. The marriage of Alice Tilliard and John Taylor is entered in St. Margaret's register, Westminster on January 20th 1594. On October 11th 1663, the christening of Thomas Tillard, son of Christopher and Ann Tillard, is recorded in St. Peter's Church Cornhill and on May 1st 1696, whilst the marriage of Jane Tilliards and Thomas Bowell appears on the registers of St. James', Duke Place, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Teyllard, which was dated 1327, in 'The Somerset County Rolls', during the reign of King Edward lll, known as 'The Father of the Navy', 1327 - 1377. 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.