Tovey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Tovey was brought to England by the Normans when they conquered the country in 1066. It comes from the Norman personal name Tofig.

Early Origins of the Tovey family

The surname Tovey was first found in Norfolk where they held a family seat from early times. "Tovus, otherwise known as Tovi, came to England with the Conqueror, and acquired several manors in Norfolk. The name is found in [the] Domesday [Book] as Tovi or Tovius." [1]

Michael Tovy was Lord Mayor of London (1244-1245.)

Early History of the Tovey family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Tovey research. Another 83 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1066, 1692 and 1745 are included under the topic Early Tovey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Tovey Spelling Variations

Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Tovey family name include Tovey, Tovy and others.

Early Notables of the Tovey family (pre 1700)

Another 34 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Tovey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Tovey migration to the United States +

To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Tovey family to immigrate North America:

Tovey Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Nathanial and John Tovey, who settled in Virginia in 1663
  • Henry Tovey, who arrived in Maryland in 1666-1680 [2]
  • Thomas Tovey, who arrived in Maryland in 1670 [2]
  • Nicholas Tovey, who arrived in Maryland in 1675 [2]
  • Samuel Tovey, who landed in Maryland in 1675 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Tovey migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Tovey Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

New Zealand Tovey migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Tovey Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Ann Tovey, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Tyne" in 1841
  • William Tovey, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "John Masterman" in 1857
  • C. Tovey, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "John Masterman" in 1857
  • Robert Tovey, aged 23, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Dorette" in 1874 [4]
  • Mr. Robert Tovey, (b. 1851), aged 23, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Dorette" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 14th April 1874 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Tovey migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [6]
Tovey Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Benjamin and Richard Tovey, who settled in Barbados in 1679 with their servants

Contemporary Notables of the name Tovey (post 1700) +

  • Roberta Tovey (b. 1953), English actress
  • Bramwell Tovey OC OM (1953-2022), British conductor and composer
  • Eric Henry Edward Tovey (1929-2016), known professionally as Lord Littlebrook, a British midget wrestler
  • Sir Brian John Maynard Tovey KCMG (1926-2015), British intelligence analyst, Director of GCHQ (1978-1983)
  • Noel Tovey (b. 1934), Australian actor
  • John Cronyn Tovey (1885-1971), 1st Baron Tovey, British admiral
  • Jessica Tovey, Australian actress
  • Sir Donald Francis Tovey (1873-1940), British musical analyst, musicologist, writer on music, composer and pianist


  1. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 22nd March 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/coromandel-and-experiment
  4. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 5th November 2010). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  5. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  6. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies


Houseofnames.com on Facebook