Tonnay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The history of the Tonnay family name begins after the Norman Conquest of 1066. They 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 Tonnay family

The surname Tonnay 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 Tonnay family

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

Tonnay Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Tone, Toney and others.

Early Notables of the Tonnay family (pre 1700)

Another 33 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Tonnay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Tonnay family to Ireland

Some of the Tonnay 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 Tonnay family

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Tonnay or a variant listed above were: Richard Tone who settled in Virginia in 1649; Patrick Toney arrived in Philadelphia in 1876; followed by John in 1877.



  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


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