Tolkien is an ancient Norman name that arrived in England
after the Norman Conquest
of 1066. The Tolkien family lived in Kent
. Their name, however, is a reference to Touques, Normandy
, the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest
Early Origins of the Tolkien family
The surname Tolkien was first found in Kent
where they held a family seat
from early times after the Norman Conquest
in 1066. They were descended from Le Sire de Touques from Pont-le-Eveque where the castle stood. Wace, the historian, mentions the Baron
Touque as amongst the Companions of Duke William, at Hastings in 1066. The ancient family of Touque of Godington of Kent
claim descent from this Norman Lord. We would be remiss if we did not address the legendary Friar Tuck. Two royal writs in 1417 refer to Robert Stafford, a Sussex
chaplain who had assumed the alias of Frere Tuk. Little more is known about him other than this "Friar Tuck" was still at large in 1429.
Early History of the Tolkien family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Tolkien research.Another 87 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1130, 1175, 1580, 1657, 1615, 1674, 1663, 1673, 1732 and 1698 are included under the topic Early Tolkien History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Tolkien Spelling Variations
Endless spelling variations
are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Tooke, Tocque, Took, Touque, Tuck and others.
Early Notables of the Tolkien family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Thomas Tuke (c.1580-1657), an English clergyman and controversial writer, of royalist views in later life; Sir Samuel Tuke (c.1615-1674), 1st Baronet
, English officer in the Royalist army during the English Civil War and a notable playwright, best known... Another 45 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Tolkien Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Tolkien family to the New World and Oceana
To escape the political and religious persecution within England
at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Tolkien or a variant listed above: James Tooke settled in Virginia in 1623; another James Tooke settled in Virginia in 1637; Ann Took settled in Dominica in 1774.