Recorded as Tuffley, Tufley, Tufly, Tuffel, Tuffill and possibly others, this is an English surname. It is locational from a place called Tuffley in the county of Gloucestershire. This village is first recorded in the famous Domesday Book of 1086 as 'Tuffelege', which suggests a meaning of Tuffa's farm, with Tuffa being an Olde English pre 7th century personal name. To this was added the suffix 'leah,' meaning a fenced enclosure or farm. Locational surnames are nearly always 'from' names. That is to say surnames which were originally given to people as easy identification after they left their original homes, and moved somewhere else. Unless they had a specific status or trade, the easiest way to identify such 'strangers', was to call them by the name of their former home. Spelling being at best indifferent, and local dialects very thick, often lead to the development of 'sounds like' variant spellings. In this case the surname is not apparently recorded in Gloucestershire at all, but is a regular in the surviving registers of the diocese of Greater London from Elizabethan times. The first of these recordings maybe that of Hellen Tufell, who married Thomas Bates at St Giles Cripplegate on June 4th 1611, and John Tuffley who married Joane Rawlins at St Olaves, Hart Street, on December 26th 1659.
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