This most interesting and unusual surname is of Old Scandinavian origin, and derives from an ancient Norse-Viking pre 7th Century personal name "Thjodulf", composed of the Scandinavian (Norse) "Thor", the name of the God of Thunder in Scandinavian mythology and "ulfr", the Old Norse word for wolf (Olde English "wulf"). This surname was originally found in Yorkshire, although early recordings have been found in most areas which were settled by Scandinavian invaders between the 7th and the 11th Century.The surname first appears in records in the late 13th Century (see below) and in the modern idiom it is also found as Tordiffe and Torduff. One Geoffrey Tedolf was recorded in 1273, in the Hundred Rolls of Buckinghamshire. Thomas Turduffe married Anne Deane at Leeds on October 13th 1588, while Lettice, daughter of Thomas Torduffe was christened on October 19th 1589, at St. Peter's Church, Leeds. John Tordoffe married Jane Baylie at Hartshead, Yorkshire, on October 1st 1645, and Susan Tordoff married Jonas Blaymires on November 27th 1638, at Bradford in Yorkshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Simon Thudolf, which was dated 1273, The Hundred Rolls of Oxfordshire, during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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