Last name: Towler

Recorded as Toler, Toller and the north country Towler, this is an English medieval surname. It has two possible origins. The first is an early occupational surname for a toll taker or tax gatherer. The derivation is from the word 'toln', meaning a tax or payment, with the agent suffix -er, meaning "one who does". The ultimate origin of the word is Greek, from telos, and latinized as toloneum. William Langland (circa 1332-1400) wrote in the prologue to the famous book Piers Plowman, of "Taillours and tynkers and tollers in markettes". The second possible origin for the modern surname, is as a locational name from a place called Toller in the county of Dorset. This was recorded as Tolre in the Domesday Book of 1086. The place is so called from an ancient British (pre-Roman) river name, composed of the Celtic elements tol, meaning a hollow, and dwr, a stream. Thus the "stream with deep holes". Early examples of the surname recording include the marriage of Thomas Toller and Ann Ellett at St. Margaret's, Westminster, on February 2nd 1629, and that of Richard Towler in the parish register of Horringer, Essex, in 1639. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Toller. This was dated 1199, in the Lincolnshire Pipe Rolls, during the reign of King Richard 1st of England,1189-1199. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop", often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

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