Tyler Surname Name Meaning, Origin, History, & Etymology
This last name originated as an occupational surname for a tiler, a person who baked clay into tiles, or perhaps was a layer of such tiles. It derives from the Anglo-Saxon word tigele and the Latin tegula (from tegere, the verb meaning to cover). The Middle English word was tile. This job was an important one, as these tiles were used in pavements and floors.
Originally a French surname, the name Tyler came to England by way of the Norman Conquest of 1066 AD. Members of this family were granted estates in counties Glamorgan, Monmouthshire, Herefordshire, by the Normans for their service against the Anglo-Saxons. Some spelling variants or names with similar etymologies include Tiler, Tylor, Tyller, and Teyler.
Popularity & Geographic Distribution
The last name Tyler ranks 477th in popularity in the United Status as of the 2000 Census. The name ranks particularly high in the following four states: Maryland, Virginia, South Carolina, and Arkansas.
Sir George Robert Tyler, 1st Baronet of Queenhithe (1835-1897) & Lord Mayor of London
The surname Tyler frequency/commonness ranks as follows in the British Isles: England (457th), Scotland (1,414th), Wales (356th), Ireland (2,996th) and Northern Ireland (1,439th). In England, it ranks highest in county Herefordshire. In Scotland, the surname ranks highest in Perthshire. In Wales, it ranks highest in Cardiganshire. In Ireland, it ranks highest in county Kilkenny. In Northern Ireland, it ranks highest in Londonderry. The name is also present throughout the remainder English speaking world: Canada (2,294th), New Zealand (815th), Australia (888th), and South Africa (2,185th).
Early Bearers of the Surname
The earliest known bearer is Rober le Tiler who was documented in Essex in 1222 AD. The Hundred Rolls of 1273 AD, a census of Wales and England, known in Latin as Rotuli Hundredorum lists two bearers of this surname: Geoffrey le Tylere and Ralph le Tilere, found in county Huntingdonshire. Hugh le Tygheler is recorded in the Rolls of Parliament. Adam le Tyghelere is documented in the Writs of Parliament around 1300 AD. A one Robert le Tiegheler was documented in county Somerset in 1327 AD. Simon le Tyeler was recorded in Norfolk in 1286 AD. An early marriage involving this surname was Robert Tyler to Alice Callis in London in 1611 and Mary Tiler to Thomas Nash at St. James Clerkenwell in 1658.
Walter “Wat” Tyler (died 1381 AD) was the leader of a famous 1381 Peasant Revolt in England. He led a group of rebels from Canterbury to the capital to oppose a poll tax. He was killed by officer’s loyal to King Richard II at the negotiations at Smithfield, London.
Tyler Family Tree & Tyler Genealogy
The following is a discussion of two different noble, royal, landed, or aristocratic families bearing this last name.
Rear Admiral Sir Charles Tyler (1760–1835)
credit: Monmouthshire Museums Service
Tyler of Cottrell
The lineage or ancestry of this branch of the Tyler family tree traces back to Peter Tyler, an Esquire, and Captain in the 52nd Regiment, who married Anna Maria Roper, daughter of Henry (8th Lord Teynham) and Anne (Baroness Daere), and had the following issue with her: 1) Francis Henry (married Maria Roper, daughter of Lord Henry Teynham), 2) George Peter (Madras Civil Service, married Anna, daughter of Colonel Long, had issue named Reverend George Dacre Alexander, William Hardinge of the Franklands, Charles, Colonel Barrett Lennard, and Owen Blathwayt, Ann, Francis Cleveland, and Gertrude, and 3) Charles. His youngest son, Sir Charles Tyler, was an Admiral in the Royal Navy who commanded the Tonnat at the Battle of Trafalgar. He married Ms. Mike, and had a son with her named Charles, who became a Royal Naval Commander. He later married Margaret, daughter of Alexander Leach of Corston, and had the following issue with her: Sir George (discussed below), Roper Trevor (M.A. and Justice of the Peace of Mount Alyn, county Denbigh, married Isabel Bruce Pryce of Duffryn and had issue named Captain Trevor Bruce, Hugh Maxwell, Robert Kingscote, Alice Grey, Isabel Frances, Amelida Blanche, Helen Margaret, and Alma Mary), Anne (married Lieutenant-Colonel Wedgwood of the Scots Fusilier Guards), Caroline (married R.J. Acland, Esq. of Boulston), Emelia (married Major-General Mansell), and Jane (married Augustus Sullivan of Richings Lodge). He died in 1836. His son, Sir George Tyler, Knight, of Cotterell, county Glamorgan, Wales, was a Justice of the Peace, Deputy Lieutenant, and Vice-Admiral of the Royal Navy who was born in 1792. In 1819, he married Harriet Margaret, daughter of John Sullivan of Richings Lodge and Lady Harriet (daughter of George, 3rd Earl of Buckinghamshire), and had the following issue with her: 1) George Henry (discussed below), 2) Charles Frederick (an officer in the army who married Kate, daughter of Major Binden), 3) Alfred, 4) Gwynnett (of Mount Gernos and of Cottrell, Justice of the Peace, Deputy Lieutenant, Lieutenant in the Royal Navy, married Judith Parry, had four children), 5) Reverend Edward, 6) John Hobart (20th Regiment Bengal Army, 60th Rifles), 7) St. Vincent (of Wisteston Court, Justice of the Peace, Captain in the Royal Cheshire Militia, married Emma Maude Phipps of Leighton, Wilts), 8) Augustus, 9) Harriet Georgina (married E.P. Richards of Planewydd and later Colonel Pierrepoint Mundy), 10) Caroline (married Windham Henry Wyndham Quin, son of Windham Henry, 2nd Earl of Dunraven), and 11) Louisa (married George, son on Howe Browne). George Henry Tyler was an Esquire of Cottrell, county Glamorgan, Wales, as well as a Justice of the Peace, Deputy Lieutenant, and Lieutenant-Colonel in the army who was born in 1824. He served with distinction in the Crimean War as a Captain in the 13th Light Infantry and also served in the Indian campaign. The Tyler coat of arms or Tyler family crest is blazoned in the medieval European art of heraldry as follows: Sable, on a fess wavy or, between three tigers passant guardant erminois a cross pattee of the first between two crescents gules, in the centre chief point, pendant from a ribbon a representation of the gold medal presented to the late Sir Charles Tyler, by command of the Sovereign, for the gallant Admiral’s services at the battle of Trafalgar, and underneath the word “Trafalgar” in letters of gold. Crest: A tiger salient guardant proper navally crowned or, in the dexter paw a flag-staff, therefrom slying the French tricoloured flag depressed and reversed. They were seated at Cottrell, Cardiff, county Glamorgan, Wales.
Tyler of Limavady
The Tyler genealogy traces back to Henry Huey, an Esquire, who married Elizabeth Ash, and had three sons with her as follows: Alexander (Lieutenant in the army), George (Major in the army), and Henry. His son Henry Hugh, in 1784, married Martha, daughter of George Tyler Esq. of Limavady, and had a son with her. This son, also named Henry Huey, was an Esquire of Limavady who assumed the surname of Tyler. In 1808, he married Helen MacCarty, having five issue with her as follows: George, Henry, Alexander, Samuel, Jessy (married William Cather), and Marion (married Colonel Sampson, Bengal army). Henry Tyler was an Esquire of Limavady, county Londonderry, Northern Ireland, as well as Justice of the Peace who was born in 1813. In the 1840s, he married Jane, daughter of David Cather of Limavady, and had three issue with her as follows: George, Margaret Helen, and Marion (married Reverend H.F. Macdonald, had son named Henry Huey Francis in 1877 and a daughter named Margaret). The Tyler family crest is blazoned in heraldry as follows: Sable, on a fess or, between two lions passant guardant argent a trefoil slipped vert between two crescents gules. Crest: An arm embowed in armour, charged with two crescents gules. They were seated at Limavady, county Londonderry, Northern Ireland.
The Tyler Baronetcy, of Queenhithe in the City of London and of Penywern Road in Kensington in the County of London, was a title in the Baronetage of the United Kingdom. In 1894, it was created for Sir George Tyler, Lord Mayor of London, who served from 1893-1894. He was succeeded by his son, Sir Frederick Charles Tyler 2nd Baronet, who was born in 1865 and passed away in 1907.
Other Tyler Pedigree & Family Trees
Laurence (or Lawrants) Tyler Jr. was born in Cranbrook, Kent, England in 1593 AD. He married a woman named Dorothy and had the following issue with her: Job, Roger, Rebecca, Moses, Mary, Abigail, Charles, Robert, and William. His son, Job Tyler was born in the same town in 1617. He went to colonial America where he likely settled first in Rhode Island. He married Mary Horton in 1638 in Massachusetts. He had the following children: Hannah, Moses, Mary (Bridges), Hopestill Sr., Hannah (Lovett), John, and Samuel. His sons are listed below and the children they had are discussed.
1) Moses Tyler was born in Andover, Essex, Massachusetts in around 1641. He married three times: Prudence Blake, Sarah Hasey, and Martha Fisk. He had the following issue: Moses Jr., John, Nathaniel, Joseph, Ebenezer, Job, Samuel, Jonathan, James, Joshua, Jacob, and David.
2) John Tyler was born in Andover, MA in 1653. He married Hannah Parker and had two sons: Nathan and Joseph.
3) Samuel Tyler was born in Andover, MA in 1655. He married a woman named Hannah and had two sons: Ebenezer and Samuel Jr.
Moses’ son Captain John Tyler was born in Andover, Essex, Massachusetts Bay in 1669. He served for 5 months in King William’s War (the North American theater of the Nine Years’ War). He obtained the rank of Captain through 20 years as a mariner working on merchant ships on the ocean. He married Annie Messenger and had three issue: John, Prudence, Gideon, and Abigail (Dodge). His son John was born in Charlestown, MA in 1696. He married Sarah Barron and had the following children with her: Sarah (Benton), Anna (Ladd), John, and Isaac. His son John was born in Tolland, Connecticut in 1728. He married Thankful Williams and had a son with her named John. His son John was born in Tolland, CT in 1780. He married Almira Baker and had a son with her named Nathan. Nathan H. Tyler was born in Tolland, CT in 1824. He married Lomira Hunn and had a son named Olin Howard. Olin Howard Tyler was born in Somers, Connecticut in 1873. He married Anne Blanche Schmidt and had a son with her named Henry. Henry Tyler was born in 1901. He married Sophie Christine Saidak and had a son with her who was born in the 1920s.
Early American and New World Settlers
Some of the earliest settlers in colonial America bearing this surname include William Tyler (Virginia 1622), John Tyler (Virginia 1623, with wife Elizabeth, and sons Robert and William Tyler), Nathaniel Tyler (Massachusetts 1630), Thomas Tyler (Virginia 1635), John Baptist Tyler (Maryland 1706), Thomas Tyler (Boston 1766), and William Tyler (Maryland 1774).
In Australia, one of the first bearers was Thomas Tyler, a mason by trade, who came to Van Diemen’s Land around 1829. In 1832, Ephraim Tyler, a convict from Essex, England came to New South Wales aboard the Andromeda. In 1839, two William Tylers came to the city of Adelaide, one aboard the Recovery and one aboard the Seppings. In New Zealand, one of the first settlers with this last name was James Tyler, who came to the city of Wellington in 1840 at the age of 17, a farm hand, aboard the Bolton. In 1875, Morris Tyler came to Wellington aboard the St. Leonards.
Early Americans Bearing the Tyler Family Crest
Charles Bolton’s American Armory (1927) contains four entries for this surname:
1) Gules on a fess or between 3 cats passant argent a cross moline inclosed by 2 crescents of the field. Crest: a demi-cat rampant and erased or, charged on the side with a cross crosslet fitchée gules springing from a crescent of the last. Motto: Fari quae sentiat. Bookplate Joseph Tyler (Harris collection) T. Johnston, sc. Gu should be sable? Andrew Tyler's bookplate (N. H. sculp.) has cats or and no motto. Heral. Jour., vol. 3, p. 22.
2) Quarterly 1 and 4: Chequy azure and or a bend ermine; 2 and 3: Or a lion ramp vert (Ward). Crest: a lion passant. Bookplate R. Tyler. J. D. Stout, sc.
3) Quarterly 1: Azure an open book or; 2: Sable an anchor erect with cable; 3: Or a woman erect with babe in arms; 4: Ermine a dove with a twig in its bill. Over all a cross purpure. Crest: a sun in splendor above an open book. Supporters: Leopards (?) with clubs. Motto: Spes mea in Deo. Bookplate John Tyler, A. M., rector at Norwich, Conn., b. 1742, d. 1823. R. Brunton, sc. Bates Early Conn. Engr., p. 40.
4) Sable on a fess erminois bet 3 mountain-cats passant guardant ermine, a cross formy on either side a crescent gules. Crest: a demi-mountain-cat issuant guardant erminois. On the chart of Tyler of America, recorded at the College, March 2, 1778. A copy is in the possession of Gen. John S. Tyler of Boston. Also bookplate John S. Tyler, 1796-1876. Also his grave, Mt. Auburn, Mass. Heral. Jour., vol. 3, p. 83.
Matthew’s American Armoury and Bluebook (1907) has one entry for this surname:
1) Edward Royall Tyler of Boston, Massachusetts, the son of John Tyler of Boston and Martha Willis Alger, was born in 1854. In 1881, he married Jennie Louise, daughter of Barney and Elizabeth A. (Glynn) Cory, and had one issue with her: Edith Royal (born 1882, married Herbert Thorn King of New York City). He descended from Thomas Tyler who emigrated from Budleigh, Devonshire, England to Boston, MA in 1680. Arms: Sable, on a fesse erminois, between three cats passant guardant ermine, a cross moline enclosed by two crescent gules. Crest: A demi-cat rampant guardant ermine. Motto: Nec aspera terrent. This arms was first granted on November 21st, 1774, to the descendants of Andrew and William Tyler of Boston, New England.
Crozier’s General Armory (1904) contains one entry for this last name:
1) Andrew and William Tyler of Rhode Island, 1774. Arms: Sable, on a fesse erminois, between three mountains cat passant, ermine, a cross moline, between two crescents gules. Crest: A demi-mountain cat, rampant guardant erminois. Motto: Deo, patriae, amicis.
I have identified six Tyler family mottoes:
1) Crux Præsidium et Decus (The cross is my guard and honour)
2) Merito (Merit)
3) My king and country
4) Nec aspera terrent (Difficulties do not daunt)
6) Volonte de Dieu (The will of God)
7) Fari quae sentiat (To say what one feels)
8) Spes mea in Deo (My hope is in God)
9) Nec aspera terrent (Frightened by no Difficulties)
10) Deo, patriae, amicis (God, country, comrades)
We have 7 coats of arms for the Tyler surname depicted here. These 7 blazons are from Bernard Burke’s book The General Armory of England, Ireland, and Scotland, which was published in 1848. The bottom of this page contains the blazons, and in many instances contains some historical, geographical, and genealogical about where coat of arms was found and who bore it. People with this last name that bore an Tyler Coat of Arms (or mistakenly called the Tyler Family Crest)
1) Sir William Tyler, Knighted at Milford Haven during the reign of King Henry VI
There are hundreds of notable people with the Tyler surname. This page will mention a handful. Famous people with this last name include: 1) John Tyler Sr. (1747-1813) who was a Virginia planter and judge who became the 15th Governor of Virginia from 1808 to 1811, 2) John Tyler (1790-1862), the son of the aforementioned John, had a stories career in politics, as he served as the 10th President of the United States from 1841-1845, as the Vice President under Henry Harrison in 1841, as the US Senator from Virginia from 1827 to 1836, as the 23rd Governor of Virginia, as a member of the US House of Representatives from Virginia from 1816-1812, as well as having served in the War of 1812, 3) Robert Ogden Tyler (1831-1874) who was a General in the Union Army during the Civil War, best known as commander of the Artillery Reserve of the Army of the Potomac, having fought at the Battle of Gettysburg, born in Hunter, New York, 4) Anne Tyler (1941) who is an award winning American novelist born in Minnesota who is best known for works like Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant and The Accidental Tourist, 5) James Hoge Tyler (1846-1925) was a veteran of the Confederate Army who served as the 43rd Governor of Virginia from 1898-1902, as well as the 16th Lieutenant Governor from 1890 to 1894, 6) Paul Archer Tyler, Baron Tyler (1941) is a liberal democrat political in the United Kingdom who served as Chief Whip from 1997-2001 in Parliament, 7) George Albert “Lefty” Tyler (1889-1953) who was a professional baseball player in the MLB from 1910-1921, playing as a pitcher for three different Boston teams as well as the Chicago Cubs, 8) Harold I. Tyler (1901-1967) who was a member of the New York State Assembly during the 1950s and 1960s, 9) Mary Tyler Moore (1936-2017) who was a famous American actress best known for her roles on the Mary Tyler Moore Show and the Dick Van Dyke Show, having been born in Brooklyn, NYC, and 10) Sidney “Syd” Tyler (1904-1971) who was an English soccer (football) player from Wolverhampton who played for six different teams, including Manchester United, from 1922-1933.
Jacob Endell Tyler (1812–1828)
credit: Oriel College, University of Oxford
Wat Tyler (1341–1381), leader of the English Peasants' Revolt
credit: Maidstone Museum & Bentlif Art Gallery
John Tyler Sr. (1747-1813), Lieutenant in Continental Army, 15th Governor of Virginia, father of President John Tyler
President John Tyler (1790-1862)