Tonner History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Throughout history, very few Irish surnames have exclusively maintained their original forms. Before being translated into English, Tonner appeared as O Tomhrair. The surname Tonner is derived from the Norse forename Tomar, which was the name of a Scandinavian king of Dublin during the 10th century. Nevertheless, the Tonner 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 Tonner family

The surname Tonner 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 Tonner family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Tonner research. Another 98 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Tonner History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Tonner Spelling Variations

Pronunciation, rather than spelling, guided scribes and church officials when recording names during the Middle Ages. This practice often resulted in one person's name being recorded under several different spellings. Numerous spelling variations of the surname Tonner are preserved in these old documents. The various spellings of the name that were found include Toner,Tonry and others.

Early Notables of the Tonner family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Tonner Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Tonner migration to the United States +

The 19th century saw a great wave of Irish families leaving Ireland for the distant shores of North America and Australia. These families often left their homeland hungry, penniless, and destitute due to the policies of England. Those Irish immigrants that survived the long sea passage initially settled on the eastern seaboard of the continent. Some, however, moved north to a then infant Canada as United Empire Loyalists after ironically serving with the English in the American War of Independence. Others that remained in America later joined the westward migration in search of land. The greatest influx of Irish immigrants, though, came to North America during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Thousands left Ireland at this time for North America, and those who arrived were immediately put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. In fact, the foundations of today's powerful nations of the United States and Canada were to a larger degree built by the Irish. Archival documents indicate that members of the Tonner family relocated to North American shores quite early:

Tonner Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Jacob Tonner, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1749 [1]
Tonner Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Catharine Tonner, who arrived in Baltimore, Maryland in 1811 [1]
  • Clement Tonner, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1849 [1]

Contemporary Notables of the name Tonner (post 1700) +

  • Robert Tonner (b. 1952), American entrepreneur, fashion designer, sculptor, and founder of the Tonner Doll Company, Inc. and the Effanbee Doll Company, Inc, President of the National Institute of American Doll Artist (NIADA)
  • James Edward "Jimmy" Tonner (1896-1985), Scottish former professional association football player

  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) on Facebook