Taunay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Taunay is one of the many names that the Normans brought with them when they conquered England in 1066. The Taunay family lived in Normandy where this "baronial name derived from the Castle of Tani. Auvrai de Tanie is on the Dives Roll : and Robert de Tany witnesses William the Conqueror's charter to Selby Abbey, Yorkshire.He held a barony in Essex, when the name was given to Stapleford-Tany, Chignall-Tany, and Latton-Tany." [1]

Early Origins of the Taunay family

The surname Taunay was first found in Essex where Hasculf, son or Robert de Tany, who in 1140 had a great suit with Rualo de Abrincis, also contested some property with William de Boville, who was the father of Rainald and Gruel. Rainald, a benefactor of Bermondsey Abbey in Surrey, left no heirs, and Gruel, or Grailand, succeeded, and certified in 1165 that he held three knight's fees de veteri feoffamento.[1]

His son also named Hasculf had a son named Gilbert, whose next heirs were William de Fauburgh, Maud the wife of Adam de Legh, and Nicolas de Beauchamp. He died in 1220, seized of seven knight's fees in the counties of Essex, Cambridge, and Suffolk, the Lordships of Aungre (Ongar) and Auvilers forming part of his barony. [1]

Later,Peter de Tani was Sheriff of Essex and Hertfordshire. Of his son John we are only told that he bestowed some land on Waltham Abbey, but his grandson. Sir Richard, was Sheriff of the two counties in 1260 and 1261, Conservator of the Peace in 1263. [1]

Hasculfus de Tania was listed in the Pipe Rolls of Essex in 1195. [2]

Early History of the Taunay family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Taunay research. Another 190 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1195, 1674, 1721, 1791, 1786, 1748, 1791, 1608, 1659, 1654, 1655, 1655 and 1651 are included under the topic Early Taunay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Taunay Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Taney, Tanney, Tauny, Tauney, Tawney, Tawny, Tannie, Tani and many more.

Early Notables of the Taunay family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Theaurau John Tany (bap. Thomas Totney 1608-1659), an English preacher and religious visionary. The morning of 30 December 1654, Tany made a large fire at Lambeth into which he cast his great saddle, sword, musket, pistols, books and bible and was committed to the Gatehouse prison where he was later bailed (1655) upon habeas corpus. "His surname is spelled in nine different ways, and seems to have been pronounced 'tawny.' A...
Another 78 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Taunay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Taunay family

Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Taunay name or one of its variants: the name represented in many forms and recorded from the mid 17th century in the great migration from Europe. Migrants settled in the eastern seaboard from Newfoundland, to Maine, to Virginia, the Carolinas, and to the islands..



  1. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 3 of 3
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)


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