Tawney History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Tawney was brought to England in the great wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Tawney 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 Tawney family

The surname Tawney 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 Tawney family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Tawney 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 Tawney History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Tawney Spelling Variations

Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Taney, Tanney, Tauny, Tauney, Tawney, Tawny, Tannie, Tani and many more.

Early Notables of the Tawney 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 Tawney Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Tawney Ranking

In the United States, the name Tawney is the 15,974th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [3]


United States Tawney migration to the United States +

Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Tawney or a variant listed above:

Tawney Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Ann Tawney, who arrived in Virginia in 1655 [4]
  • Michael Tawney, who landed in Maryland in 1665 [4]
  • Mary Tawney, who arrived in Maryland in 1671 [4]
Tawney Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Margaret Tawney, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1765 [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Tawney (post 1700) +

  • Lenore Tawney (1907-2007), American fiber artist
  • James Albertus Tawney (1855-1919), American Republican politician, Member of Minnesota State Senate 15th District, 1891-95; U.S. Representative from Minnesota 1st District, 1893-1911 [5]
  • Everett F. Tawney, American politician, Candidate for Minnesota State Senate 2nd District, 1926 [5]
  • Cyril Tawney (1930-2005), English singer and songwriter
  • Richard Henry Tawney (1880-1962), English economist

HMS Hood
  • Mr. David R Tawney (b. 1918), English Musician serving for the Royal Marine Band from Gosport, Hampshire, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [6]


  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)
  3. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  4. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  5. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 9) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  6. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm


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