Towler History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The many generations and branches of the Towler family can all place the origins of their surname with the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. Their name reveals that an early member worked as a person charged with the duty of collecting taxes. The surname Towler is derived from the Old English word tollere, which means tax-gatherer. [1]

We must take a moment to explore the origin of the Coat of Arms. And to do so, we provide this interesting quotation: "I turned to Anselme's great work on the peers and nobles of France, in hopes of finding, under his account of the Sovereign Counts of Toulouse, some reference to works which might enable me to pursue the inquiry. The volume was accordingly opened which contains the history of the Counts of Toulouse, when, to my extreme astonishment, I recognized the arms of the English Tolers or Towlers at the head of the history of that great house. Their arms were the hereditary emblems of that almost kingly race in all its branches—the well-known 'Cross of Toulouse' being a cross fleury voided (i.e. in skeleton), which Enghsh heralds had described as a cross fleury surmounted by another cross. Of course all these various families of Toler, Toller, and others, bearing the Cross of Toulouse, were identified as one in origin, and as, no doubt, descendants of the princely house whose name and arms they have borne from the eleventh century." [2]

Early Origins of the Towler family

The surname Towler was first found in Cornwall and West Dorset where the name was derived from the River Toller (now named River Hooke.) Locals Toller Whelme, Toller Fratrum, and Toller Porcorum can still be found in this county today. Collectivelly, they date date back to the Domesday Survey when they were listed as Tolre. [3] "Toller is an old Celtic river-name meaning 'hollow stream.'" [4]

However, the first record of the family was found in Lincolnshire where Robert Toller was listed in the Pipe Rolls of 1199. Later, William and John Tollere were found in the Assize Rolls of Yorkshire in 1251 and 1255. [5]

The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 included: Willelmus Toller; and Robertus Toller as both holding lands there at that time. [6]

To the north in Scotland, "Hugh Toller, Ambrose Toller, and Nicholas Toller witnessed sale of land in Glasgow, c. 1280-1290. Elene Tollare, wife of Willelmus Dubrelle in Inverkethine, is on record in 1392." [7]

Early History of the Towler family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Towler research. Another 87 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1428, 1602, 1761, 1732, 1795, 1821, 1692, 1800 and 1827 are included under the topic Early Towler History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Towler Spelling Variations

Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Towler were recorded, including Toler, Tolar, Toller, Tollers, Tolers, Towler and many more.

Early Notables of the Towler family (pre 1700)

Another 38 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Towler Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Towler Ranking

In the United States, the name Towler is the 12,714th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [8]

Ireland Migration of the Towler family to Ireland

Some of the Towler family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 153 words (11 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Towler migration to the United States +

To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Towler family emigrate to North America:

Towler Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Thomas Towler, who landed in Virginia in 1714 [9]
  • Thomas Towler, who arrived in Virginia in 1719 [9]
Towler Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • W. Towler settled in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • Daniel Towler, who settled in Philadelphia in 1854

Australia Towler migration to Australia +

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

Towler Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • John Towler, aged 24, who arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Florentia" [10]
  • John Towler, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Florentia" in 1849 [10]

New Zealand Towler 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:

Towler Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. George Towler, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Light Brigade" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 26th August 1868 [11]
  • Frederick Towler, aged 29, a sawyer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Salisbury" in 1874
  • Maria Towler, aged 26, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Salisbury" in 1874
  • Sarah Towler, aged 4, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Salisbury" in 1874
  • Rosanna Towler, aged 18 months, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Salisbury" in 1874
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Towler (post 1700) +

  • Raymond "Ray" Towler (b. 1957), American guitarist, keyboardist and trumpeter
  • Dan "Deacon" Towler (1928-2001), American National Football League running back
  • Darren Towler, English mixed martial artist
  • Edwin Towler, English professional association football goalkeeper who played in the early 1900s
  • Michael David "Mike" Towler, British theoretical physicist
  • Diane Towler (b. 1946), British eight-time gold medalist ice dancer
  • William Towler (1889-1917), first councilman to be elected in Vancouver, B.C. in 1868

HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Towler, British Able Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales (1941) and survived the sinking [12]


The Towler Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Regi et patriæ fidelis
Motto Translation: Faithful to king and law.


  1. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ 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
  3. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  4. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  5. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  6. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  7. ^ 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)
  8. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  9. ^ 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)
  10. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) FLORENTIA 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Florentia.htm
  11. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  12. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html


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