This unusual and interesting surname has two distinct possible origins, each with its own history and derivation. Firstly, the surname may be of Anglo-Saxon origin, and a locational name from some minor, or unrecorded place, perhaps a lost village, believed to have been in Suffolk, or it may be a variant spelling of Tiffield in Northamptonshire, and hence locational from this spot. The latter place, recorded as "Tifelde" in the Domesday Book of 1086, is so called from the Olde English pre 7th Century "Ti(w)", the name of a God, with "feld", open country, land free from wood. Because the element "feld" denoted an open space of large extent, it is likely that Tiffield, or a place called Tuffield, were meeting places for the worship of this god. Locational surnames, such as this, were originally given as a means of identification to those who left their place of origin to settle elsewhere, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. Regional and dialectal influences subsequently produced several variations on the original spelling, which, in the modern idiom, appears as: Tovell, Tofield, Tuffield and Tuffill. The surname may also derive from a Scandinavian female personal name of an unusual type, "Tofa Hildr", "Hildr the daughter of Tofi", from "Thorr", the god of Thunder in Scandinavian mythology, and recorded as "Tovilt" in the Domesday Book of 1086 for Suffolk. One William Tuffeld was recorded in the 1524 Subsidy Rolls of Suffolk, and in 1565 Robert Tuffield and Grace Fisher were married in Lackford, Suffolk. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Stephen Tovild, which was dated 1473, in the "Wills Records of Suffolk", during the reign of King Edward 1V, known as "The Self Proclaimed King", 1461 - 1483. 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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