Throughout history, very few Irish surnames have exclusively maintained their original forms. Before being translated into English, Tonn appeared as O Tomhrair. The surname Tonn is derived from the Norse forename Tomar, which was the name of a Scandinavian king of Dublin
during the 10th century. Nevertheless, the Tonn family is distinctly Gaelic. It was common practice for Irish men who married women of Norse stock to baptize their children by a Norse name.
Early Origins of the Tonn family
The surname Tonn was first found in Derry, where they were anciently descended from the Cenel Eoghain (the Clann Owen) which had held lands in Tyrone
and Derry for over a thousand years.
Early History of the Tonn family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Tonn research.Another 98 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Tonn History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Tonn Spelling Variations
The Middle Ages saw a great number of spelling variations
for surnames common to the Irish landscape. One reason for these variations is the fact that surnames were not rigidly fixed by this period because the general population had to rely on local
official's understanding of how their name should be spelt, hence spellings in records often changed through a person's lifetime. The following variations for the name Tonn were encountered in the archives: Toner,Tonry and others.
Early Notables of the Tonn family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Tonn Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Tonn family to the New World and Oceana
became inhospitable for many native Irish families
in the 19th centuries. Poverty, lack of opportunities, high rents, and discrimination forced thousands to leave the island for North America. The largest exodus of Irish settlers occurred with the Great Potato Famine
of the late 1840s. For these immigrants the journey to British North America and the United States was long and dangerous and many did not live to see the shores of those new lands. Those who did make it were essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest and most powerful nations of the world. These Irish immigrants were not only important for peopling the new settlements and cities, they also provided the manpower needed for the many industrial and agricultural projects so essential to these growing nations. Immigration and passenger lists have documented the arrival of various people bearing the name Tonn to North America: Arthur Toner, who was naturalized in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania in 1810; Bryant Toner, who was listed as a British Alien in the United States during the War of 1812.
Tonn Family Crest Products