TALLENT was a French occupational name for a tailor or a nickname for a good swordsman. The name was derived from the Old French word TAILLER (to cut) and rendered in medieval documents in the Latin form TALIARE. The name is also spelt TAILLANT and TAILLARD. Many of the modern family names throughout Europe reflect the profession or occupation of their forbears in the Middle Ages and derive from the position held by their ancestors in the village, noble household or religious community in which they lived and worked. The addition of their profession to their birth name made it easier to identify individual tradesmen and craftsmen. As generations passed and families moved around, so the original identifying names developed into the corrupted but simpler versions that we recognise today. The earliest French hereditary surnames are found in the 12th century, at more or less the same time as they arose in England, but they are by no means common before the 13th century, and it was not until the 15th century that they stabilized to any great extent; before then a surname might be handed down for two or three generations, but then abandoned in favour of another. In the south, many French surnames have come in from Italy over the centuries, and in Northern France, Germanic influence can often be detected. Early records in England mention Walter Tayleur of the County of Cambridge in 1180. Henry le Taliur was recorded in County Norfolk in the year 1273. Roger le Taylour was documented in County Somerset, during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377). Richard le Taylor of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. John Taylor (1580-1653) was the 'Water-Poet', an English pamphleteer and Thames waterman. Abel, son of John Taillor was baptised at St. Peter, Cornhill, London in 1593. Robert Julian and Mary Taylor were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1802. Zachary Taylor (1784-1850) was an American soldier and the 12th president of the United States of America, 1849-50.
This well known English and Scottish name has been in Ireland since the 14th century, and is now numerous both in Ulster and Dublin.
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