This interesting surname is of Old Scandinavian origin, and derives from the Old Norse personal name "Tofi", Old Danish "Tovi", a short form of any of the various compound names, for example "Thorrvaldr", whose first element is the divine name "Thorr", the god of thunder in Scandinavian mythology, while the second always begins with an "f" or "v", as in "valdr", rule. Pre 7th Century Anglo-Saxon and Old Norse given names were usually distinctive compounds whose elements were often associated with the Gods of Fire, Water and War, or composed of disparate elements. Towthorpe in the East Riding of Yorkshire, recorded as "Touetorp" in the Domesday Book of 1086, has the Old Norse "Tofi" as an initial element; hence, "Tofi's thorp (farm, settlement, village)". This ancient forename was originally introduced into England by Tovi the Proud, a follower of Canute, the Dane, who ruled England from 1016 - 1035. He signs himself in 1033 as "Tovi Pruda", and he was Harold's forerunner in the foundation of Waltham. The name is found in Domesday as "Tovi" or "Tovius", and in 1177, one Toui Hering appears in the 1177 Pipe Rolls of Norfolk. On July 18th 1586, William Toovey and Mary Birde were married in London. A Coat of Arms granted to the Toovey family is a shield divided per fess gold and red with a wyvern, wings elevated countercharged, tail nowed counterchanged. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Toui, which was dated 1197, in the "Pipe Rolls of Norfolk", during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "Richard the Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. 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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