Tongs History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
Tongs is an ancient Norman name that arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Tongs family lived in Yorkshire, at Tongue (Tonge). However, as a habitational name, in can also be found in Lancashire, Shropshire, and West Yorkshire as many believe the name to be a topographic name for someone who lived on a tongue of land.
Early Origins of the Tongs family
The surname Tongs was first found in Yorkshire where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Manningham in that shire. There does not appear to be a record of the village of Maningham at the taking of the Domesday Book in 1086 A.D. so it must be assumed that it emerged as a manor about the 12th century. About 1400 the Tongs were well established at Manningham.
Today Tonge Hall is a Grade II listed Elizabethan manor house in Tonge, Middleton, Greater Manchester, England. It is thought to have been built by the family c. 1584. Tonge is also a township, in the parish of Prestwichcum-Oldham, union of Oldham, hundred of Salford in the historical county of Lancashire. "It is probable that the family of Tonge gave name to this place, which in the 43rd of Elizabeth was possessed by a member of it named Christopher Tonge." 
Tonge with Haulgh was home to another branch of the family from ancient times. "In the reign of John, lands were held here by Gilbert de Tonge." 
Early History of the Tongs family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Tongs research. Another 156 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1400, 1600, 1621, 1680, 1662, 1727 and 1662 are included under the topic Early Tongs History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Tongs Spelling Variations
Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Tongues, Tongue, Tong, Tonge and others.
Early Notables of the Tongs family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Henry Tongue, minister of Holtby, Yorkshire; and his son, Israel Tonge (1621-1680), aka Ezerel or Ezreel Tongue, an English divine and an informer in the "Popish" plot. Born at Tickhill, near Doncaster, he is thought to have been the inventor...
Another 48 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Tongs Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Tongs family to Ireland
Some of the Tongs 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.
Migration of the Tongs family
Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Tongs or a variant listed above: Robert Tongue who settled in Virginia in 1698; John Tongue settled in Annapolis Maryland in 1725; James and William Tongue settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania between 1855 and 1868.
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- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.