This unusual and interesting surname, recorded in Church Registers of Guernsey in the Channel Islands from the early 18th Century under the variant spellings Tostevin and Tostivin, is of Old French origin, and derives from the Old French "toster", to toast, with "vin", wine; hence, "tostervin". This phrase was originally given either as a metonymic occupational name to someone at a festival or fair who toasted bread for the purpose of dipping or soaking it in wine, or as a nickname to one who habitually enjoyed this epicurean fare. Job-descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and later became hereditary, whereas nicknames were given with reference to physical attributes or peculiarities, and to repeated habits of dress, behaviour or occupation. On April 18th 1734, the marriage of Abraham Tosdevin to Marie Cohu took place at Castel, Guernsey, and on October 14th 1811, Moses Tosdevin and Ann Grimes were married at St. Mary's, Marylebone Road, London. Recordings from French Church Registers are later, and include the marriage of Jean Augustin Tostevin to Anne Dathuy at Uzer, Ardeche, on February 10th 1847. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Leonard Tostervin, which was dated July 30th 1707, marriage to Collete Guilbert, at Forest, Guernsey, during the reign of Queen Anne, known as "The Last Stuart Monarch", 1702 - 1714. 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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