This most interesting surname is of Old French origin, and is believed to be an unusual variant of the name "Talbot", which is a surname of much disputed origin. According to one source, it derives from the Old French "talebot", a nickname for robbers who blackened their faces to avoid recognition, "talebot", meaning lampblack (carbon used for blackening faces). However, another reputable source derives Talbot from a Germanic personal name which was composed of the Germanic elements "tal", to destroy and "bod", a message, tidings, hence "a messenger of destruction". There is also an Old French word, "talbot", which was a wooden billet hung around the neck of animals to prevent them from straying. The initial surname was first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 (see below). Other early examples of the surname include Gilbert Talebot, recorded in the 1196 Pipe Rolls of Dorset, and William Taillebot, mentioned in the Assize Rolls of Lincolnshire in 1202. James, son of Stephen and Judith Talpot, was christened on July 25th 1699 at St. Mary the Virgin, Dover, Kent, and My, daughter of Stephen and My Tolputt, was christened at Folkestone, Kent, on January 16th 1723. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard de Talbott, which was dated 1086, in the Domesday Book, during the reign of King William 1, known as "The Conqueror", 1066 - 1087. 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.