Where and when the surname started

Cheshire and North Staffordshire up to 1550.

The name Titterton, with its ‘ton’ ending, suggests immediately that the family took their name from a place.  This is rather like the names Buxton, Stafford or Atherton.  There are many more.  Unfortunately there is no place name ‘Titterton’.

Research into many of the people with the surname living in the 20th Century frequently finds the family with an origin from Staffordshire. Derbyshire or London.  Prior to 1550 the surname is first found in the records of the North Staffordshire parishes of Alstonefield, Cauldon and Grindon.  We are fortunate that the Parish Registers of Alstonefield have survived from that earlier a date.  Here there are several males having families in the period 1540-1570 whose descendants are using the spelling Titterton in the 1600s and 1700s.

Another document from about 1540 relates to a dispute about land.  The land had been granted to four brothers and cousins in the next generation are in dispute.  The four brothers are  Edward Teryngton,  George Tetrynton, (the elder), Henry Tetryngton and Rychard Teryngton.      Even in the same sentence the surnames are spelt differently.   Details of this can be found here.

An even earlier dispute of 1397/8 refers to William de Tyderyngton who was accused of trampling down the grass of Isablla de la Pole of Hartington.  So clearly the medieval place was named Tiderington at that time. The most obvious place for this is today called Titherington and is on the outskirts of Macclesfield.

1397 with ttn circled close up

The most reasonable explanation is that around 1300-1400 someone moved from Tydryngton, Cheshire to Narrowdale. Here he became known as ‘Fred’ de Tydryngton and his descendants continued the surname. Over the centuries the now Staffordshire family’s surname changed to from de Tyderyngton to Titterton.  Back in Cheshire the place name changed from Tyderyngton to Tytherington.

It has yet to be established why ‘Fred’ moved. The Lords of the Manor of Tyderington at this time were de Tyderingtons.  The main line failed but perhaps a member of a junior branch moved to Staffordshire.  Later the Tittertons are recorded as holding a specific fraction of land in Alstonfield so perhaps ‘Fred’ married a coheiress to the estate. More likely he was forced to move from Tydryngton to Narrowdale because his Lord wanted him to.

The fact that the family had its origins in the North Staffs Moorlands/Derbyshire area can be shown statistically by examining the spread around the country of Tittertons in telephone directories and the Mormon IGI index.  This is explained here.