Show ContentsTolle History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Norman Conquest of England of 1066 added many new elements to the already vibrant culture. Among these were thousands of new names. The Tolle name is derived from the Norman given name Tollet. "Tollei and Tolli are modern Norwegian forms of the Old Norse Thorleik-r = Thor’s Sport or Contest." 1

Early Origins of the Tolle family

The surname Tolle 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. 2

"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." 3

Other Hundredorum Rolls records include: Toly Museye, Lincolnshire; Douce Toly, Cambridgeshire; Tholy Oldcorn, Cambridgeshire; and Stephen Toli, Cambridgeshire. 4

"In the reign of Elizabeth, Mr. George Tolley owned extensive house property in Evesham, [Worcestershire]. The name was represented in the parish of Upton Snodsbury a century ago. Toly was a common name in Cambridgeshire in the reign of Edward I. " 5

Early History of the Tolle family

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

Tolle Spelling Variations

A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Tollet, Tolle, Tolley, Tolly, Tollie, Tollye, Tulet, Tullet and many more.

Early Notables of the Tolle family

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was

  • Elizabeth Tollet (1694-1754), was an English poetess, the daughter of George Tollet, Commissioner of the Navy. 6
  • George Tollet (died 1719), was an English mathematician and naval administrator who purchased a country home at Betley Hall, Staffordshire in 1718, but died a year later

Tolle Ranking

In the United States, the name Tolle is the 7,567th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. 7

United States Tolle migration to the United States +

Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Tolle or a variant listed above:

Tolle Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Johann Christian Tolle, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1753
  • Christian Tolle, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1753 8
  • Jurgen Tolle, who landed in America in 1780 8
  • Johann Tolle, who arrived in America in 1783 8
Tolle Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Martin Tolle, aged 21, who arrived in Maryland in 1813 8
  • Wilhelm Tolle, who landed in Missouri in 1840 8
  • Helene Tolle, (nee Mackenrodt) who arrived in Texas in 1845 aboard the ship "Joh. Dethardt"
  • Christopher Aug. Tolle, aged 18, who settled in Texas in 1845 aboard the ship "Joh. Dethardt"
  • Gottlieb Tolle, aged 21, who settled in Texas in 1845 aboard the ship "Joh. Dethardt"
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

The Tolle 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. Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  2. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. 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
  4. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  6. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  7. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  8. 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) on Facebook