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.

Resources on

Tyler Ancestry

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
    , 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.

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
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 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

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
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

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.

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

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




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