This interesting surname of English Origin is derived from the Middle English, Old English given name Toll or the Old Norse Toli, itself coming from a short form of some compound name such as Thorleifr, composed of the divine name Thor meaning "the god of thunder" plus "leifr" "relic" or Thorleikr, composed of the elements Thor plus "leikr" "sport" or "play". The surname date's back to the mid 12th Century, (see below). Further recordings include one Richard Tulegh (1327) "The Subsidy Rolls of Somerset". Variations in the idiom of the spelling include Toley, Tolley and Tooley. John Tollye married Jane Lythe on February 2nd 1553 at St. Margaret, Westminster, and Susan Todey married Thomas Gore at St. Benet's, London on January 14th 1583. L. Tooly, a famine emigrant, sailed from Liverpool aboard the Cambridge bound for New York on May 17th 1847. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Toly, which was dated 1150 - "A Chartulary of the Priory of St. Thomas, the Martyr, Staffordshire", during the reign of King Stephen, "Count of Blois", 1135 - 1154. 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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