Tonne History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestral home of the Tonne family was in the German state of Bavaria. Tonne is a local name for a person who lived in or near a forest. This name was originally derived from the German word tan, which means forest.

Early Origins of the Tonne family

The surname Tonne was first found in Franconia, where the name came from humble beginnings but gained a significant reputation for its contribution to the emerging mediaeval society. It later became more prominent as many branches of the same house acquired distant estates and branches, some in foreign countries, always elevating their social status by their great contributions to society.

Early History of the Tonne family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Tonne research. Another 245 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1160, 1176, 1572, 1632, and 1704 are included under the topic Early Tonne History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Tonne Spelling Variations

In the medieval era, many different cultural groups lived in the German states. There are thus many regional variations of German surnames from that era. Westphalians spoke Low German, which is similar to modern Dutch. Many German names carry suffixes that identify where they came from. Others have phrases attached that identify something about the original bearer. Other variations in German names resulted from the fact that medieval scribes worked without the aid of any spelling rules. The spelling variations of the name Tonne include Tann, Tan, Tanner, Taner, Tanns, Tans, Tanne and many more.

Early Notables of the Tonne family (pre 1700)

Another 42 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Tonne Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Tonne migration to the United States +

Between the mid-17th and mid-20th centuries, German settlers arrived in North America by the thousands. Persecution based on religion and poverty were great motivators in this large-scale migration. So too was the opportunity for tenant farmers to own their own land. Ample land and opportunity awaited the settlers who went to such states as Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Illinois, and California, as well as Ontario and the prairie provinces of Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Tonne or a variant listed above:

Tonne Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Richard Tonne, who landed in Virginia in 1649 [1]
Tonne Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Maria Tonne, aged 16, who settled in America, in 1894
Tonne Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Max Tonne, aged 17, who landed in America from Riga, in 1905
  • Robert Tonne, who immigrated to the United States, in 1907
  • Fredsine Tonne, aged 23, who landed in America from Kehun, Denmark, in 1908
  • Wilhelm Tonne, aged 30, who settled in America from Strassburg, in 1909
  • Henry Tonne, aged 53, who immigrated to the United States, in 1911
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Tonne (post 1700) +

  • Russia Tonne, born Russia Hardy, American actress
  • Wolfgang Tonne (1918-1943), German Luftwaffe fighter ace, recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves
  • Wolfgang Tonne, German fighter pilot and flying ace in the Luftwaffe, during World War II, credited with 122 aerial victories, awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross


  1. ^ 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)


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