Recorded as Tillerton, Tolerton and Tollerton, this is a rare English locational surname. It usually originates from either the village of Tollerton a few miles north of the ancient city of York, or occasionally the similarly named Tollerton in the county of Nottinghamshire. This village is first recorded in the famous Domesday Book of 1066 as 'Trocalavestune' which the English Place Names dictionary gives as meaning 'Torleifs farm', with Torleif being a Danish-Viking personal name. The village of Tollerton in Yorkshire is also recorded in Domesday Book but as 'Tolentum'. According to the dictionary this is believed to mean the place where tolls were collected. However this interpretation is open to suspicion, as the Roman and still main road from York to Edinburgh, which has been in the same place for two thousand years, passes less than two miles to the east. This is surely where tolls were collected, not on some backwater. In our opinion like the Nottingham village, this may also have been originally a personal name such as Torleif. The surname is well recorded in the surviving church registers of Yorkshire with Ursula Tolerton, the daugther of John Tolerton, being christened at Stokesley, North Yorkshire, on April 20th 1594, whilst Mary Tillerton married John Smith at Greasley, Nottinghamshire, on May 5th 1792.
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