Show ContentsTone History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Tone is a name that came to England in the 11th century wave of migration that was set off by the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Tone family lived in Toesny, "in the commune of Gaillon, arrondissement of Louviers, Normandy. Six of this name are on the Dives Roll; Raoul, Robert, Juhel, Ibert, Berenger, and Guillaume ; but Juhel is inserted by mistake, for he was named De Toteneis, or Totness, from his Devonshire barony. Raoul or Ralph de Toeni- called by Wace De Conches (from his barony of Conches, near Evreux, where his father Roger had founded an abbey),was the Hereditary Standard Bearer of Normandy, and, as such, offered the honour of bearing the consecrated banner at the battle of Hastings." [1]

"The De Toenis were 'royal, descended from an uncle of Rollo; ' and one of the greatest houses in Normandy. Ralph de Toeni was among Duke William's chief barons, and 'through the malicious suggestion of some who bore a grudge towards him' had been at one time expelled from the Duchy, but by 'the intercession of Friends' reinstated in his estates and office of standard-bearer. He appears as a great landowner in Domesday, and though his principal estates were in Norfolk, chose Flamstead in Hertfordshire as his chief residence." [1]

Early Origins of the Tone family

The surname Tone was first found in Leicestershire where Ralph de Toni received lands of the Lordship of Belvoir for his services as Standard bearer at Hastings in 1066 A.D.

Further to the south and west in Cornwall, "the manor of Helston-Tony [in the parish of Helston] belonged at an early period to a family called Tony. From this family it passed by a female heir to the Beauchamps." [2]

Early History of the Tone family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Tone research. Another 111 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1510 and 1763 are included under the topic Early Tone History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Tone Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries. For that reason, spelling variations are common among many Anglo-Norman names. The shape of the English language was frequently changed with the introduction of elements of Norman French, Latin, and other European languages; even the spelling of literate people's names were subsequently modified. Tone has been recorded under many different variations, including Tone, Toney and others.

Early Notables of the Tone family

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was

  • John Toney, Toneys or Tonneys (d. 1510?), English grammarian, perhaps a native of Tony, Norfolk, and was educated from childhood at the Austin Friary, Norwich[3]...

Tone Ranking

In the United States, the name Tone is the 17,109th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [4]

Ireland Migration of the Tone family to Ireland

Some of the Tone family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Tone migration to the United States +

To escape the uncertainty of the political and religious uncertainty found in England, many English families boarded ships at great expense to sail for the colonies held by Britain. The passages were expensive, though, and the boats were unsafe, overcrowded, and ridden with disease. Those who were hardy and lucky enough to make the passage intact were rewarded with land, opportunity, and social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families went on to be important contributors to the young nations of Canada and the United States where they settled. Tones were some of the first of the immigrants to arrive in North America:

Tone Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Richard Tone who settled in Virginia in 1649
Tone Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Chattom Tone, who arrived in Virginia in 1718 [5]
Tone Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Robert Tone, who landed in New York, NY in 1816 [5]
  • William Theobald Wolfe Tone, who arrived in New York in 1817 [5]

Contemporary Notables of the name Tone (post 1700) +

  • Franchot Tone (1905-1968), born Stanislaus Pascal Franchot Tone, an American stage, film, and television actor, perhaps best known for his role as Midshipman Roger Byam in Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)
  • Theobold Wolfe Tone (1763-1798), Irish nationalist, a leading Irish revolutionary figure and one of the founding members of the United Irishmen
  • Tone Haugen (b. 1964), former Norwegian footballer, world champion and Olympic medalist

  1. 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
  2. Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  3. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  4. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  5. 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