The surname Tilbrook is derived from an English local source. Local surnames were derived from the place where a person once lived, or a prominent local geographical feature, perhaps a hill identified one person from another who lived near a bridge, river, lake, etc.
Here, the name denotes 'of Tilbrook', a parish in county Bedford. This name was given to someone who lived at this place. This placename itself is derived from the Old English language byname 'Tile' (from 'til', 'capable'), and 'broc', meaning 'brook' (as in a meandering stream). In the 11th century it was called 'TileBroc'.
Early records of the surname Tilbrook include an entry of this name recorded within the Hundred Rolls, which until the 19th century was a unit of English Government detailing citizens of a given area. This system of local legal jurisdiction was introduced by King Edmund the Martyr I (939-946AD).
William de Tilbroc of county Lincolnshire, was documented in this book in 1273AD. This surname was also entered in the Domesday Book four times during 1086/87. This book was created as an in-depth survey of almost all England, detailing land holdings tenure and stock of individuals. The original document is still preserved among English public records.
A William Tilbrook was sentenced to seven years imprisonment (for poaching) and transported to Australia aboard the prison ship Neptune in 1790. The story is that William was caught poaching. The landowner or employee caught William in the act. William's hunting dog was mortally wounded and he retaliated. Thankfully, apart from the hound, no one was killed but William was transported rather than hung.
Persons sharing the surname are well represented world-wide.