Tonney History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Tonney came to England with the ancestors of the Tonney family in the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Tonney family 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 Tonney family

The surname Tonney 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 Tonney family

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

Tonney Spelling Variations

Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Tone, Toney and others.

Early Notables of the Tonney family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Tonney family to Ireland

Some of the Tonney 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 Tonney family

Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Tonney or a variant listed above: 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


Houseofnames.com on Facebook