Theys History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Theys came to England with the ancestors of the Theys family in the Norman Conquest of 1066. It comes from the Old French given name Tieis. Early records typically had the name in the Latin form: Teutonicus.

This name more often than not, is usually seen in ancient records in what one would presume to be the plural form, as in Teys. However this is not the case. "This was a baronial name. The family of Teutonicus, or Tyes, is frequently mentioned both in Normandy and England, and may possibly have descended from Baldric Teutonicus, ancestor of the Courcys and Nevills." [1]

Early Origins of the Theys family

The surname Theys was first found in Yorkshire where "at a very small distance from the field of battle of Towton stands the antique and diminutive chapel of Leod, or Lede, which seems to have been domestic to the adjoining manor house. This was one of the seats of the ancient family of Tyas, styling themselves in Latin Teutonicus, five of whose tombs still remain in the chapel, which, as I recollect, is little more than eighteen feet long within. The inscriptions, in Longobardic characters, are partly visible. This family De Tyas appear to have been magnificent persons. Sir Baldwin Teutonicus is styled nobilis miles, and a lady, probably his wife, nobilis faemina." [2]

"The name was by no means confined to Yorkshire. There was a Waleran Teutonicus, who, in the time of Henry III., had the custody of the Isle of Wight during the minority of Earl Baldwin. Roger de Teie occurs in Oxfordshire 1194-98 (Curia Regis Rolls). Sir Walter de Teys in 1316 held Bromham in Bedfordshire, and Nunnington, in Yorkshire. He was summoned to parliament at Northampton in 1307, and again the following year for the King's coronation." [2]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 included: Warin Toy, Cambridgeshire; and A. Wydo Toye, Suffolk. Later the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of Yorkshire listed Johannes Toye; and Willelmus Toye as holding lands there at that time. [3]

In Essex, the Feet of Fines included Walter de Teye in 1294. [4] Here the family gave their name to Great Tey, Little Tey and in part to Marks Tey. Collectively dating back to Saxon times when they were known c. 950 as Tygan, by the time of the Domesday Book of 1086 the parish was known as Teia. [5] The latter, Tey Marks "takes the present adjunct to its name from the family of Marks, or Merks, to whom it anciently belonged." [6]

"Sir Henry Tyes, who held lands in Oxfordshire, Berkshire, and Wiltshire, was a Baron by writ in 13 13. He served Edward II. in his Scottish wars; but, in 1322, taking part with the Earl of Lancaster, he was in arms against the King, attacked and burnt Bridgenorth, and 'was one of the traitors that assisted in taking the town of Gloucester.' He was made prisoner at the battle of Boroughbridge, and hanged for treason." [2]

Early History of the Theys family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Theys research. Another 75 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1378, 1540, 1577, 1540, 1556, 1541, 1556, 1611, 1663, 1611, 1628, 1630, 1634 and 1643 are included under the topic Early Theys History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Theys 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 Tey, Tay, Teyas, They, Toye, Teye and others.

Early Notables of the Theys family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Humphrey Toy, (1540-1577), English printer, born probably in London about 1540, son of Robert Toy, printer. His father (d. 1556) possibly came originally from Wales. Before 1541, he had set up a printing press at the sign of the Bell in St. Paul's Churchyard. He died in February 1556. John Toy (1611-1663), was an English author, son...
Another 65 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Theys Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Theys migration to the United States +

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 Theys name or one of its variants:

Theys Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Johann Georg Theys, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1773 [7]


  1. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  2. ^ 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
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  6. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  7. ^ 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)


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