This most interesting and unusual surname is of Dutch origin, and was probably introduced into England as a result of the immigration of Flemish Huguenots, fleeing religious persecution in the late 16th Century. The name itself originates from the Dutch 17th Century word "taptoe", which was formerly a signal by drum or bugle ordering the military to return to their quarters or else denoted a military display or pageant. "Taptoe" itself comes from the command words "tap-toe", from "tap", tap of a barrel and "toe" meaning to shut.Hence, the term was given to someone who played the signal or who took part in a military display. The London Church Registers record the following early recordings of the surname: the christening of William, son of Peter and Sarah Tattoo, at St. Mary's Church, Whitechapel, in August 1783; Peter Tatoo married Sarah Happey, at St. Leonard's Church, Shoreditch, on December 3rd 1786, and the marriage of Elisabeth Tatoo to William Long, on February 23rd 1805, at St. Leonard's Church, Shoreditch. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Mary Tatue which was dated December 24th 1736, marriage to Peter Bouquett, at St. Dunstan's Church, Stepney, London, during the reign of King George 11, known as "The Last Warrior King", 1727 - 1760. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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