This interesting surname is of early medieval English origin, and is an example of the sizeable group of early European surnames that were gradually created from the habitual use of nicknames. The nicknames were given in the first instance with reference to a variety of characteristics, such as physical attributes or peculiarities, mental and moral characteristics, including supposed resemblance to an animal's or bird's appearance or disposition, or to habits of dress and occupation. The derivation of the name is from the Middle English "to(o)", exceedingly, with "gode", good, perhaps ironic in application.The surname is first recorded in the beginning of the 13th Century (see below) and can also be found as Towgood and Tugwood. Stephen Tougod is listed in the Ministers' Accounts of the Earldom of Cornwall (1297), and Margerie Toogood is noted in the Records of the Priory of St. Rodegund, Cambridgeshire (1473). Recordings of the surname from London Church Registers include: the marriage of John Toogood and Agnes Jones on February 1st 1584 at St. Giles', Cripplegate; the christening of Robert, son of Peter Toogood, on May 8th 1608 at St. Mary Whitechapel, Stepney; and the marriage of Christopher Toogood and Rebecca Picket on June 18th 1635 at St. Andrew's, Enfield. A Coat of Arms granted to the family is a silver shield with three black caltraps, the Crest being an armed hand holding a caltrap proper. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Togod, which was dated 1200, in the "Pipe Rolls of Lincolnshire", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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