Show ContentsTongue History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Tongue is a name of ancient Norman origin. It arrived in England with the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Tongue 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 Tongue family

The surname Tongue 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." [1]

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." [1]

Early History of the Tongue family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Tongue 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 Tongue History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Tongue Spelling Variations

Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Tongues, Tongue, Tong, Tonge and others.

Early Notables of the Tongue 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 Tongue Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Tongue family to Ireland

Some of the Tongue 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 Tongue migration to the United States +

To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Tongue or a variant listed above:

Tongue Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Tho Tongue, who landed in Maryland in 1650 [2]
  • Thomas Tongue, who arrived in Maryland in 1650 [2]
  • Robert Tongue who settled in Virginia in 1698
Tongue Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Tongue, who settled in Annapolis Maryland in 1725
Tongue Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Emma Tongue, aged 20, who landed in New York in 1849 [2]
  • Rebecca Tongue, who landed in New York in 1849 [2]
  • Samuel Tongue, aged 22, who arrived in New York in 1849 [2]
  • James and William Tongue, who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania between 1855 and 1868

Canada Tongue migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Tongue Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • John Tongue, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Mr. William Tongue U.E. who arrived at Port Roseway, [Shelburne], Nova Scotia on October 26, 1783 was passenger number 158 aboard the ship "HMS Clinton", picked up on September 28, 1783 at Staten Island, New York, USA [3]
Tongue Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Edward Tongue (Tangye), (b. 1830), aged 25, Cornish settler, from Redruth, Cornwall, UK departing from Falmouth destined for Quebec, Canada aboard the ship "Barque John" on 3rd May 1855 which sank after striking the reef, he survived the sinking [4]

Australia Tongue migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Tongue Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

Contemporary Notables of the name Tongue (post 1700) +

  • Reginald Clinton "Reggie" Tongue (b. 1973), American NFL football safety who played from 1996 to 2005
  • Thomas Tongue III (1912-1994), American jurist, 75th Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court (1969-1982)
  • Thomas H. Tongue (1844-1903), English-born, American politician and attorney from Lincolnshire, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Oregon (1897-1903)
  • Reginald Ellis "Reggie" Tongue (1912-1992), English racing driver from Urmston, Lancashire
  • Walter Nicholas "Nick" Henry Tongue (b. 1973), New Zealand gold, silver and three-time bronze medalist freestyle swimmer who competed at the 1996 Summer Olympics
  • Alan Tongue (1980-2000), Australian rugby player who played from 2000 to 2009
  • Carole Tongue FRSA (b. 1955), British politician, Member of the European Parliament for London East (1984-1999)

  1. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. 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)
  3. Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  4. Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from
  5. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 25th October 2020). Retrieved from on Facebook