Recorded in a number of spellings which include Thon, Theng, Theun, Thones, Thonges, Tonsen, Tonnesen, Tonsing (German, Swiss, and Austrian), Thonsen, Thonason (Scandanavian), Theunissen, Teunissen (Dutch), and many others this is a surname of Roman (Latin) origins. It is described in various directories as being an aphetic form of the famous Roman clan name Antonius, of which Marcus Anthonius (83 - 30 b.c.) was the most famous holder. The origin of the name is not known. Suggestions have been that it derives from 'antistes', a word of status for a high priest or the overseer of a major temple. Whether this is so or not, it is logical. As the Romans held most of Northern Europe under their control for nearly five centuries until the year 412 a.d, it is hardly surprising that they have left many memories of their presence, not the least being 'names'. It is unclear when this surname was first recorded. The famous dictionary called 'Etymologisches Worterbuch der Deutschen Familliennamen' published in 1847 lists an Anna Thong of Kassel in 1528, whilst in church registers we found the recordings of Bernhard Thon at Corner, Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha, in 1627, whilst an example of the patronymic spelling is that of Christin Tonnesen who married Berndt van Elst at Cleve, Rheinland, on February 9th 1686.
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