Recorded in the spellings of Talman, Toleman, Tollman, and Tolman, this is an English surname. It is of occupational origin and derives from the pre 7th Century word "toll" meaning a toll, plus "mann" a worker; and hence a collector of tolls. "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. They were usually stationed at all the gates to a town, as well as on the rare bridges, fords, and the later toll-roads. Occupational surnames became hereditary when a son followed his father into the business. This surname is first recorded in the early half of the 13th Century (see below), and an early example is that of William Tolman, in the Subsidy Rolls of Somerset in 1327. Examples of recordings taken from early surviving church registers include: the marriage on May 24th 1559 of Alice Tolman and John Fuller at St. Mary's Athill, in the city of London, whilst a grant of arms to the family has the blazon of a silver martlet between three gold ducal caronets on a black shield. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hereward Tholeman, which was dated 1219, in the Assize Court Rolls of the county of Lincolnshire. This was during the reign of King Henry 111rd of England, 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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