This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a topographical name for someone who lived in a village, derived from the Old English pre 7th Century 'tun', enclosure, settlement or village. Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names. The name development since 1095 (see below) includes the following: Peter de la Tune (1219, Book of Seals, Surrey), Peter Abothetoune (1275, Subsidy Rolls, Worcestershire) and John Douninthetoune (1327, Subsidy Rolls, Worcestershire). The modern surname can be found as Town(e), Toon(e), Tune, Town(e)s and Towning. Among the sample recordings in London are the christening of Elizabeth Towne, daughter of Arthur and Ursula Towne, on August 29th 1617 at St. Botolph's, Bishopsgate, and the marriage of Bartholomew Towne and Mary Wheeler, on January 21st 1666 at St. James's, Clerkenwell. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Wistric Oftun, which was dated circa 1095, Feudal Documents from the Abbey of Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, during the reign of King William 11, '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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