Show ContentsTough History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname Tough is a local name "from the parish of Tough (Gaelic tulach, a knoll), near Alford, Aberdeenshire. The "ch" and "gh" have the guttural pronunciation of "ch" in "loch." In a roll of missing charters of David II is one to Isabel Toulch, sister to Henry Toulch, of the lands of Toulch in the sheriffdom of Abirdene " [1]

Further to the south in England, the name could have been derived from the Old French word touche, meaning thicket, and indicates that the original bearer lived near a thicket. [2] Alternatively, the name could have been a nickname for someone who was "sturdy; capable of endurance." [3] [4]

Early Origins of the Tough family

The surname Tough was first found in Aberdeenshire. "Sande Towcht in Aberdeen was ordered in 1538 to find caution for "strubbling" others. Sir James Toucht was a notary in Fife, 1549, Thomas Tucht was keeper of the inner door of Exchequer in 1561, one Touch is recorded as burgess of Dysart in 1508, and Jonn Towichte was a "baixter" in Aberdeen in 1581." [1]

In England, Cheshire was the home to many of the family. Here they claim descent from Joslin de Touche, who was granted lands by King William, the Duke of Normandy, after the Conquest. The Touches were Lords of Audley, the Earls of Castlehaven. It is generally thought that by the 14th century, many of these Norman nobles moved north to Scotland and were granted land by King David of Scotland.

Some remained in England as in Kent, we found Nicholas le Toghe in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1275 and Alicia la Towe in the Subsidy Rolls for Worcestershire in the same year. [4]

Early History of the Tough family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Tough research. Another 188 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1361, 1549, 1561, 1611, 1653 and 1748 are included under the topic Early Tough History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Tough Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Touch, Toulch, Tough, Tuff, Tuf, Toucht and others.

Early Notables of the Tough family (pre 1700)

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

United States Tough migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Tough Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • David Tough, who landed in Mississippi in 1848 [5]

Contemporary Notables of the name Tough (post 1700) +

  • Coulson Tough (1926-2022), American architect, best known for developing The Woodlands with George P. Mitchell
  • Dave Tough (1908-1948), American jazz musician
  • Paul Tough, Canadian author
  • Allen Tough (b. 1936), Canadian Professor Emeritus at the University of Toronto

SS Caribou
  • Mr. William Morgan Tough (b. 1918), British passenger who was Sergeant Alqonquin Regiment from Lander Lake, Ontario was travelling aboard the railway ferry "SS Caribou" when it was struck by a German submarine torpedo on 14th October 1942, the most significant sinking in Canadian waters at that time, he died in the sinking

  1. Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  2. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  3. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  4. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. 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