This interesting and unusual name is English. It has at least two possible origins. The first is from the pre 7th century Old Norse-Viking name "Toli", derived from a short form of some compound name such as "Thorleifr". This was composed of the divine name "Thorr", meaning the God of Thunder in Scandinavian mythology and "leifr", a relic. The second possible origin is as a nickname or short form of the famous Greek and Crusader name Bartholomew, meaning 'Having many furrows,' and hence a description for a farmer.This name was introduced into england after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The personal name as Toly is recorded in 1255 when Johanna Tholy was mentioned in the rolls known as the Calendarium Genealogicum. On December 31st 1576, Thaddie Toolie married Constance Showringe at St. Giles Cripplegate, whilst Thomas Tooley was christened on August 23rd 1584, at the same church, and Thomas Tolley was christened on October 16th 1614, at St. Mary Aldermary, all in the city of London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Stephen Toli. This was dated 1273, in the Cambridgeshire Hundred Rolls, during the reign of King Edward 1st of England, 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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