The name Tolkien was brought to England
in the wave of migration that followed 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 173 words (12 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
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 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
For many English families, the social climate in England
was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. For such families, the shores of Ireland
, 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.
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.