Select Tyler Surname Genealogy

Tyler's origins are occupational, from a tiler or maker or layer of tiles.  Tiles were widely used in medieval times for floors and pavements, although they weren't really employed in roofing until the 16th century.

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Select Tyler Ancestry

England.  Tyler as a surname appears to have emerged in the late 13th and 14th centuries.  Two early examples of the name were:
  • Geoffray and Ralph Tylere, who were recorded in Huntingdonshire in 1272 (they were tenants of the Abbot of Sawtry)
  • and Wat Tyler, the leader of the Peasants' Revolt of 1381.  Historians believe that he came from Essex and that he crossed the Thames to lead the revolt in Kent.
Kent  Much of northeast Kent was involved in Wat Tyler's revolt of 1381.  But there is nothing to connect Wat Tyler with any more recent Tylers in that area.  Tylers in Edenbridge and the surrounding area can be traced to the early 1600's.  One family line began with a Thomas Tyler, born there around 1715.  Captain Peter Tyler who fought with the army in Ireland married into the local gentry at Lynsted near Sittingbourne.  His son Admiral Sir Charles Tyler commanded with Nelson at Trafalgar in 1805.

Gloucestershire  Another cluster of Tylers was to be found in the west country, in Gloucestershire.  The early Tyler wills there showed Tylers in the Forest of Dean, in Tytherington near Ichington, and in villages in and around Thornbury north of Bristol.  These Tylers were recorded as yeomen farmers, clothiers, weavers, and tanners.  A Richard Tyler ran the ironworks in the Forest of Dean for a period in the 1630's.

Moses and Mary Tyler lived at Mill farm, Tytherington in the late 1700's.  A Tyler family of masons in Tidenham dates from this time as well.

"A stone set in the west wall of Tidenham churchyard recorded the building of the wall by William Tyler in 1787.  A local legend has it that the stone marked the grave of a witch."

And there were a number of Tyler trades people in the Bristol area by the early 1800's.

The 19th century distribution of the Tyler name still reflected this east/west division.  Tylers were first in the southeast, around London, Kent and Essex; and then in the west, around Gloucestershire and Worcestershire.

America.  America had two early and notable Tyler arrivals, one into Massachusetts and the other into Virginia.  Some have maintained that these two Tylers were related.  But there is no evidence that this was the case.

New England  Job Tyler came to New England in 1640 with his wife Mary and settled in Andover, Massachusetts.  They had four sons, Moses, Hopestill, John and Samuel, from whom has come a large number of descendants.  Moses' line included Daniel Tyler the Mormon and Moses Coit Tyler the historian. 

Hopestill's wife and daughter got caught up in the Salem witch trials.  His line subesquently went via eastern Connecticut to Daniel Tyler, the iron manufacturer, railroad president, and one of the first generals of the Civil War.  John's line, meanwhile, eventually migrated to Ohio.  Willard Brigham's 1912 book The Tyler Genealogy traced the various descendants.

Virginia  The other Tyler line began in Virginia with Henry Tyler from Shropshire.  He had arrived in 1652 and was a planter in York county in the outskirts of what is now Williamsburgh.  His descendants later moved to James City and then to Charles City where Judge John Tyler erected his Greenway plantation in 1776 (the house there still stands). 

It was his son John Tyler, born in Greenway, who became by accident the tenth President of the United States, following the death of President Harrison in 1841.  John Tyler's descendants are numerous.  He had two wives and fifteen children.

Maryland  There were also Tyler planters from the 1670's in Maryland with Robert Tyler and his Brough plantation on the Patutext river and from the 1750's in North Carolina with Moses Tyler and his plantation in Bladen county.  Moses' son was a drummer boy in the Revolutionary War.  Later Tylers moved onto Mississippi.

Australia.  Three early Tylers in Australia were from Gloucestershire.  John William Tyler had come from Bristol to South Australia in 1845 and was one of the first settlers at Burra, northeast of Port Augusta.  

"John is undersood to have been the first Australian farmer to import machinery from America for boring for water.  He in fact visited California to see the plant at work and to order the machinery."

John and Charlotte Tyler also came to South Australia, arriving there on the Isabella Hercus in 1849. Meanwhile, Matthew Tyler and his family had got to Sydney in 1838.  These Tylers had been sponsored to emigrate to Australia by their local Bisley parish in Gloucestershire. 

Richard Tyler came to Western Australia with his family in 1886.  His family has been cropping wheat in Korrelocking, WA for close on a hundred years.

Select Tyler Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for further stories and accounts:

Select Tyler Names

Wat Tyler was the leader of the Peasants' Revolt in 1381.
Royall Tyler, the son of a Boston merchant, was a lawyer and, with The Contrast in 1787, America's first playwright of note.  His wife Mary Tyler wrote the child care manual The Maternal Physician and a memoir Grandmother Tyler's Book.
John Tyler became in 1841 the 10th President of the United States.
Bonnie Tyler, born Gaynor Hopkins, is a popular singer from Wales, with 1980's hits such as Total Eclipse of the Heart.

Select Tylers Today
  • 17,000 in the UK (most numerous in Essex)
  • 21,000 in America (most numerous in Texas)
  • 7,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Australia).

PS.  You might want to check out the surnames page on this website.  It covers surname genealogy in this and companion websites for more than 800 surnames.

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