Recorded as Taleworth, Tolwood, Tolworth, Tolworthie, Tolworthy, and possibly others, this is a surname of English origins. It is locational, and almost certainly from the village of Tolworth in Surrey. This is an ancient place first recorded in the famous Domesday Book of England in 1086. The name is believed to mean 'Tala's wood', but other explanations are possible. The village spelling has included Talewurda in 1130 and Toleswort in 1345. Locational surnames are usually from names. That is to say names given to people after they left their original homesteads, to move somewhere else. In consequence the easiest way to identify these 'strangers', was to call them after the place when whence they came. Spelling being at best indifferent and local accents very thick, often lead to the creation of 'sounds like' forms. Perhaps the first recording in the surviving church registers of the city of London is that of James Tolworthie. He married one Timothie Nokes, Timothie being originally a female name as well as a male, at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on April 29th 1633, whilst Susanna Tolwood married Samuel Wolfe at St James, Dukes Place, Westminster, on January 19th 1686 and Thomas Tolworthy was a christening witness at St Andrew's Holborn, on September 26th 1738.
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