This name derives from the Olde Norse personal name Porfrodr or the Olde Swedish name Thorfrith. Both containing as their first elements "Thor" (coming from the Olde Norse "Porr"), the name of the God of thunder in Scandinavian mythlogy. The final element derives from the Olde English "firhde" or "farith" meaning "woodland" or "barren land". The name Turfredus is first recorded in "the Pre conquest personal names of the Domesday Book" (1049). The surname from this source appears in the latter half of the 13th Century. A Robert Tolfry is recorded in the 1296 Subsidy Rolls of Sussex. In the modern idiom, the name has seven spelling variations including:- Tol(l)free, Tolfrey, Turfery etc.. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Torfray. which was dated 1279, The Hundred Rolls of Oxfordshire. during the reign of King Edward I, The Hammer of the Scots, 1272 - 1307. 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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