Tolkien History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The name Tolkien was brought to England in the wave of migration that followed the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Tolkien family lived in Touques in the arrondissement of Pont L'Evesque, at the mouth of the river so called in Normandy. "Le Seigneur de Touque appears on the list of those who fought under William the Conqueror both in the Norman Chronicle and in the Romati de Rou." 
Early Origins of the Tolkien family
The surname Tolkien was first found in Yorkshire where Toc or Toka (no forename) was listed in the Domesday Survey of 1086.  Wace, the historian, mentions the Baron Touque as amongst the Companions of Duke William, at Hastings in 1066.
Other early entries for the family include: Rogerus filius Toke, who was listed in the Curia Regis Rolls for Northumberland in 1214; Wrange Tocha in the Pipe Rolls for Norfolk in 1166; Henry Thoche in Lincolnshire in the 12th century; Robert Toke in the Pipe Rolls for Suffolk in 1200; William Toke in the Curia Regis Rolls for Northumberland in 1211; and Robert Touk, who was found in the Assize Rolls for Staffordshire in 1325. 
"The surname is found spelled in 17 different ways. One of the most ancient is Toke, as preserved in the Godington family for many centuries. The Tookes of Hurston Clays, co. Sussex, of London, Herts, Dorset, &c., proven descendants of that house, have employed this orthography from the XVI. century." 
"In Nottinghamshire the Toukes were to be found for about three hundred years. William de Tulc, or Tuke, during the reign of Stephen, held of Ralph Silvain in Kelham, part of the great Richmond Fee, and was a benefactor of Rufford Abbey. His son William confirmed and added to his gifts, and he gave account of two marks, for having his land again, whereof he was disseized for being in Nottingham Castle, as most of our Nottinghamshire gentry were at that time, with Earl John." 
Henry, his heir, was living in 1218, and was followed by two Sir Walters, father and son, then by another Henry, and a Simon, mentioned in 1337.
There is a Kentish family of this name, derived from Robert de Toke, who was present with Henry III. at the battle of Northampton in 1264. His greatgrandson was seated at Westcliffe in Kent; and from him, in the fifth generation, descended John Toke of Bere, living in the reigns of Henry V. and Henry VI.
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, 1545, 1498, 1580, 1657, 1615, 1674, 1663, 1595, 1675, 1598, 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
Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence in the eras before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate regularly changed the spellings of their names as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Tolkien have been found, including Tooke, Tocque, Took, Touque, Tuck and others.
Early Notables of the Tolkien family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir Brian Tuke (d. 1545), secretary to Henry VIII, he was apparently son of Richard Tuke (d. 1498?); 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 for his 1663 play "The Adventure of...
Another 71 words (5 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
For many English families, the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. For such families, the shores of Ireland, Australia, and the New World beckoned. They left their homeland at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. Many arrived after the long voyage sick, starving, and without a penny. But even those were greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. Numerous English settlers who arrived in the United States and Canada at this time went on to make important contributions to the developing cultures of those countries. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Tolkien were among those contributors: James Tooke settled in Virginia in 1623; another James Tooke settled in Virginia in 1637; Ann Took settled in Dominica in 1774.
Contemporary Notables of the name Tolkien (post 1700) +
- John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (1892-1973), CBE, FRSL, English writer, poet, philologist, and academic, best known as the author of the high fantasy works The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings
Related Stories +
The Tolkien Motto +
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Militia mea multiplex
Motto Translation: My warfare is manifold.
- ^ 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
- ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.