History, dialect and distance do some strange things to surnames. In this case the derivation is apparently from the Old Irish O'Tuama, which translates as "the descendant of the Hill Man". The usual modern spellings are Toomey, Twomey and Tuomey, and the name is most often found in West Cork and Kerry. Perhaps not surprisingly this name has developed more than the usual number of spelling variants. The Irish immigrants lists for 1845-1851, record Toomy, Toomery, Tooney and Toomes whilst the English register for the same period include Tomoney, Tomney and Tumeney for Liverpool and London, the main ports of entry. Amongst the recordings are Andrew Tomney who married Ann Hanmer at St. Nicholas Church, Liverpool on April 16th 1827. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Barbry Tumney, which was dated September 4th 1683, married at the church of St. Mary Somerset, London, during the reign of King Charles 11, "The Merry Monarch" 1660 - 1685. 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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