Recorded in several spelling forms including Detoc, Tocque, Tocquet, Toquet, de Tocqueville, and Tocqueville, this is an ancient French surname. The book of surnames called the 'Dictionnaire etymologique de France' records that there are many possible meanings, of which the most likely is a development of 'toque', meaning 'hair', and as such probably a nickname for a person with a good head of hair, or possibly no hair at all! In the spellings of 'De Tocqueville or 'Tocqueville' it is clearly locational and apparently from several villages in the departments of Eure, Manche and Seine-Inferieure. The villages and hence the surname would suggest that these places were names after people called 'Tocque', although it is also possible that there is a transfered meaning which may suggest that the places were in heavily wooded areas. Early examples of the surname recordings taken from surviving registers include: Estienne Detoc of Paimpont in the department of Ille-de-Vilaine, on April 1st 1593, Jacque Tocqueville of Germain-de-Laye, Seine et Loise, on May 22nd 1720, Judith Tocque, who married Philippe Jean at St Quen, Jersey, Channel Islands, on December 9th also 1720, and finally Victor de Tocqueville, who married Ann Tullock in the chapel of the British Embassy, Paris, on July 16th 1827.
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