Show ContentsToy History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the Toy family arrived in England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The name Toy came from the Old French given name Tieis. Early records typically had the name in the Latin form: Teutonicus.

This name more often than not, is usually seen in ancient records in what one would presume to be the plural form, as in Teys. However this is not the case. "This was a baronial name. The family of Teutonicus, or Tyes, is frequently mentioned both in Normandy and England, and may possibly have descended from Baldric Teutonicus, ancestor of the Courcys and Nevills." [1]

Early Origins of the Toy family

The surname Toy was first found in Yorkshire where "at a very small distance from the field of battle of Towton stands the antique and diminutive chapel of Leod, or Lede, which seems to have been domestic to the adjoining manor house. This was one of the seats of the ancient family of Tyas, styling themselves in Latin Teutonicus, five of whose tombs still remain in the chapel, which, as I recollect, is little more than eighteen feet long within. The inscriptions, in Longobardic characters, are partly visible. This family De Tyas appear to have been magnificent persons. Sir Baldwin Teutonicus is styled nobilis miles, and a lady, probably his wife, nobilis faemina." [2]

"The name was by no means confined to Yorkshire. There was a Waleran Teutonicus, who, in the time of Henry III., had the custody of the Isle of Wight during the minority of Earl Baldwin. Roger de Teie occurs in Oxfordshire 1194-98 (Curia Regis Rolls). Sir Walter de Teys in 1316 held Bromham in Bedfordshire, and Nunnington, in Yorkshire. He was summoned to parliament at Northampton in 1307, and again the following year for the King's coronation." [2]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 included: Warin Toy, Cambridgeshire; and A. Wydo Toye, Suffolk. Later the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of Yorkshire listed Johannes Toye; and Willelmus Toye as holding lands there at that time. [3]

In Essex, the Feet of Fines included Walter de Teye in 1294. [4] Here the family gave their name to Great Tey, Little Tey and in part to Marks Tey. Collectively dating back to Saxon times when they were known c. 950 as Tygan, by the time of the Domesday Book of 1086 the parish was known as Teia. [5] The latter, Tey Marks "takes the present adjunct to its name from the family of Marks, or Merks, to whom it anciently belonged." [6]

"Sir Henry Tyes, who held lands in Oxfordshire, Berkshire, and Wiltshire, was a Baron by writ in 13 13. He served Edward II. in his Scottish wars; but, in 1322, taking part with the Earl of Lancaster, he was in arms against the King, attacked and burnt Bridgenorth, and 'was one of the traitors that assisted in taking the town of Gloucester.' He was made prisoner at the battle of Boroughbridge, and hanged for treason." [2]

Early History of the Toy family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Toy research. Another 75 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1378, 1540, 1541, 1556, 1577, 1611, 1628, 1630, 1634, 1643 and 1663 are included under the topic Early Toy History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Toy Spelling Variations

Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Tey, Tay, Teyas, They, Toye, Teye and others.

Early Notables of the Toy family

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was

  • Humphrey Toy, (1540-1577), English printer, born probably in London about 1540, son of Robert Toy, printer. His father (d. 1556) possibly came originally from Wales. Before 1541, he had set up a print...
  • John Toy (1611-1663), was an English author, son of John Toy of Worcester, born in that city in 1611. "He matriculated from Pembroke College, Oxford, on 23 May 1628, graduating B.A. on 27 Jan. 1630-1...

Toy Ranking

In the United States, the name Toy is the 6,335th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [7]

United States Toy migration to the United States +

Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Toy or a variant listed above:

Toy Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Elias Toy, who landed in Delaware in 1693 [8]
Toy Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Anne Toy, who landed in Virginia in 1703 [8]
Toy Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Henry Toy, who landed in America in 1812 [8]
  • Andrew Toy, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1834 [8]
  • Charles Toy, who arrived in New York in 1843 [8]
  • H F Toy, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [8]

Canada Toy migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Toy Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Patrick Toy, aged 26, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Madawaska" in 1833
  • Ann Toy, aged 26, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Madawaska" in 1833
  • Richard Toy, aged 13, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Madawaska" in 1833

Australia Toy migration to Australia +

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

Toy Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Michael Toy, (b. 1798), aged 39, Irish labourer born in Galway who was convicted in London, England for 7 years for robbery, transported aboard the "Charles Kerr" on 6th June 1837, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [9]
  • Miss Mary Ann Toy, (b. 1820), aged 27 who was convicted in London, England for 15 years, transported aboard the "Cadet" on 4th September 1847, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land), she died in 1909 [10]
  • Mary Toy, aged 55, who arrived in South Australia in 1851 aboard the ship "Catherine" [11]
  • Mary Toy, aged 55, a servant, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Catherine" in 1851 [11]
  • Harriet Toy, aged 18, a servant, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Catherine" in 1851 [11]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Toy 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:

Toy Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • George Toy, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Queen of the Avon" in 1859
  • Henry Toy, aged 19, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "City of Auckland" in 1872

Contemporary Notables of the name Toy (post 1700) +

  • Camden Toy (1955-2023), American Maverick Movie Award winning actor and script writer, known for his work on Running Away with Blackie (2009), My Chorus (2000) and Mansfield Path (2009)
  • James W. "Jim" Toy (1930-2022), American LGBT activist, considered a pioneer among LGBT activists in Michigan
  • Sam Toy OBE (1923-2008), American industrialist, Chairman of Ford Motor Company UK from 1980 to 1986
  • James Madison "Jim" Toy (1858-1919), American Major League Baseball player who played from 1887 to 1890
  • Crawford Howell Toy (1836-1919), American Hebrew scholar and professor of Hebrew and Oriental languages at Harvard University
  • Stanley Toy, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from California, 2004 [12]
  • Laura M. Toy (b. 1951), American Republican politician, Member of Michigan State House of Representatives 19th District; Elected 1998, 2000 [12]
  • Harry S. Toy (b. 1892), American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Michigan, 1948 [12]
  • George Toy, American politician, U.S. Collector of Customs, 1871-81 [12]
  • E. C. Toy, American politician, Member of South Dakota State Senate 32nd District, 1899-1900, 1905-06 [12]
  • ... (Another 3 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

  1. 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)
  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. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  6. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  7. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  8. 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)
  9. Convict Records of Australia. Retrieved 1st February 2021 from
  10. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 17th November 2020). Retrieved from
  11. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) CATHERINE 1851. Retrieved
  12. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 26) . Retrieved from on Facebook