This is a job descriptive name which actually describes the name holder. The 'Toll - Men' formed an essential part of life from the Normans through to the 19th Century and were the most efficient form of local tax collection. 'Toll - Men' were stationed at all town gates, Fords and in particular the rare bridges. The derivation is from the Olde English 'Toll' and 'Mann' the latter meaning in this context 'an official', the name development of Somerset in the 1327 Poll Tax Rolls, Alice Tolman, St. Mary's, London 1559, John Toleman, a witness at St. Martins in the Field, Westminster on February 18th, 1653 in the time of Oliver Cromwell. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hereward Tholeman, which was dated 1219, witness at the Lincoln Assize Court, during the reign of King Henry III, 'The Frenchman', 1216 - 1272. 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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