Throughout history, very few Irish surnames have exclusively maintained their original forms. Before being translated into English, Tonry appeared as O Tomhrair. The surname Tonry is derived from the Norse forename Tomar, which was the name of a Scandinavian king of Dublin
during the 10th century. Nevertheless, the Tonry 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 Tonry family
The surname Tonry 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 Tonry family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Tonry research.Another 318 words (23 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Tonry History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Tonry Spelling Variations
Many spelling variations
of the surname Tonry can be found in the archives. One reason for these variations is that ancient scribes and church officials recorded names as they were pronounced, often resulting in a single person being recorded under several different spellings. The different spellings that were found include Toner,Tonry and others.
Early Notables of the Tonry family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Tonry Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Tonry family to the New World and Oceana
In the 19th century, thousands of Irish left their English-occupied homeland for North America. Like most new world settlers, the Irish initially settled on the eastern shores of the continent but began to move westward with the promise of owning land. The height of this Irish migration came during the Great Potato Famine
of the late 1840s. With apparently nothing to lose, Irish people left on ships bound for North America and Australia
. Unfortunately a great many of these passengers lost their lives - the only thing many had left - to disease, starvation, and accidents during the long and dangerous journey. Those who did safely arrive in "the land of opportunities" were often used for the hard labor of building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. The Irish were critical to the quick development of the infrastructure of the United States and Canada. Passenger and immigration lists indicate that members of the Tonry family came to North America quite early: 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.
Contemporary Notables of the name Tonry (post 1700)
- Richard Alvin Tonry (b. 1935), former Louisiana politician
- John L Tonry, Professor at the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaii