This interesting surname of English origin is a topographical name for someone who lived in a village, as opposed to an outlying farm or hamlet, deriving from the middle English "tune" "tone" (old English pre 7th Century "tun") meaning "settlement", "village" or "enclosure". The surname dates back to the late 11th Century, (see below). Further recordings include Peter de la Tune (1219), "Sir Christopher Hatton's Book of Seals, Surrey", and John de la Tone (1275), "The Hundred Rolls of Suffolk". Variations in the idiom of the spelling include Toone, Town, Towne, Townes, etc.. Richard Towne was christened at St. Leonard, Eastcheap, London on October 9th 1544. Priscilla, daughter of George and Priscilla Toon, was christened at Christchurch, Greyfriars, Newgate, London, on March 12th 1693, whilst Thomas, son of William and Elizabeth Toone was christened at St. Mary Whitechapel, London on July 30th 1729. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Wistric Optun, which was dated 1095, in "The Feudal Documents from the Abbey of Bury St. Edmunds", Suffolk, during the reign of King William ll, known as "Rufus", 1087 - 1100. 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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