Tollay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Tollay reached English shores for the first time with the ancestors of the Tollay family as they migrated following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The name Tollay is based on the Norman given name Tollet.

Early Origins of the Tollay family

The surname Tollay was first found in Staffordshire where they held a family seat, some say from about the 12th century. The name was derived from Tollet, a Norman noble who entered England after the Norman Conquest in 1066. The earliest recorded instance of the name appears to be of Walter Tulet in the 1219 in the Pipe Rolls for Northumberland. Other early references show Robert Tuylet in 1295 in Cornwall, and Robert Tuliet in 1361 in the Feet of Fines for Essex. [1]

"Henry Tullet and Gilian his wife in Kent, and Robert Tulleyt in Wiltshire, c. 1272 (Hundredorum Rolls). John Tolet is mentioned about 1380 in the county of Durham. Bernard Tulet held of Sir John de Baliol at Byvvell in Northumberland 1268." [2]

Early History of the Tollay family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Tollay research. Another 106 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1771, 1771, 1674, 1741, 1701, 1694, 1754, 1719 and 1718 are included under the topic Early Tollay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Tollay Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Tollay are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Tollay include Tollet, Tolle, Tolley, Tolly, Tollie, Tollye, Tulet, Tullet and many more.

Early Notables of the Tollay family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Jethro Tull (1674-1741), an English agricultural pioneer born in Basildon, Berkshire who helped bring about the British Agricultural Revolution, he perfected a horse-drawn seed drill in 1701 that economically sowed the seeds in neat rows, eponym of the British...
Another 46 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Tollay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Tollay family

Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Tollay, or a variant listed above: Thomas Tollie, who settled in Virginia in 1635; William Tullett, who came to Maryland in 1678; John Tullett, who came to Virginia in 1703; Christopher and Fried Tolle who settled in Texas in 1845.



The Tollay 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: Prudentia in adversis
Motto Translation: Prudence in adversity.


  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-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


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