Tonya History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Tonya is a name that was carried to England in the great wave of migration from Normandy following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Tonya 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 Tonya family

The surname Tonya 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 Tonya family

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

Tonya Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Tonya include Tone, Toney and others.

Early Notables of the Tonya family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Tonya family to Ireland

Some of the Tonya 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 Tonya family

In England at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first Tonyas to arrive on North American shores: Richard Tone who settled in Virginia in 1649; Patrick Toney arrived in Philadelphia in 1876; followed by John in 1877.


Contemporary Notables of the name Tonya (post 1700) +

  • Tonya D. Payne, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Pennsylvania, 2008 [3]
  • Tonya Reiman (b. 1969), American author, hypnotist and motivational speaker
  • Tonya Buford-Bailey, American athlete
  • Tonya McCormick, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Florida, 2004 [4]
  • Tonya Sconiers, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Minnesota, 2008 [5]


  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
  3. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 29) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  4. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 16) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  5. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 13) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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