This ancient surname is of Old Scandinavian origin, and derives from the Old Norse given name "Tofi", Old Danish "Tovi", a diminutive form of "Thioethvaldr", which is composed of the elements "thioeth", nation, and "valdr", ruler, "nation-ruler". This name was introduced into England by Tovi the Proud, who was a follower of Cnut. Pre 7th Century Olde English and Old Norse baptismal names were usually distinctive compounds whose elements were often associated with the Gods of Fire, Water and War, or composed of disparate elements. Variant forms of the surname in the modern idiom include Tovee, Tovey and Toovey. The personal name is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Toui", and Toue fox de Salebi is recorded in Lincolnshire, circa 1154, and the Pipe Rolls of Norfolk mention a Toui Hering in 1177. The surname itself first appears in the late 12th Century (see below), while other early recordings include William Toui in the 1200 Pipe Rolls of Hampshire, and Berenger de Tovi, of Lincolnshire, in the Book of Fees, circa 1216. William Tovye, of Wiltshire, was recorded in the Register of Oxford University in 1585, while William, son of Thomas and Mary Tuvey, was christened on July 31st 1665, at Lechlade, Gloucestershire. The Coat of Arms most associated with the surname depicts on a gold shield, two black bars, in chief three black fleurs-de-lis. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Toui, which was dated 1197, in the "Pipe Rolls of Norfolk", during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "The Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. 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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