This surname of TONER was a locational name 'the dweller at the town' from residence therein; originally an enclosure, a farmstead, a farm with all its outbuildings. Originally the coat of arms identified the wearer, either in battle or in tournaments. Completely covered in body and facial armour the knight could be spotted and known by the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped garment which enveloped him. The name was brought into Ireland where it was derived from a personal name to the Gaelic O'Tomhrair. This family of the Cenel Eoghain possessed territory on the banks of the Foyle, and later moved into County Kerry. The name has always been numerous in Ulster, particularly now in counties Armagh and Derry. Other spellings of the name include TOWNE, TOON, TOONE, TUNE and TOWNES. Early records of the name mention Hugh Tunere, 1242. Andrew le Toner was documented in County Suffolk, in the year 1327. Most of the European surnames in countries such as England, Scotland and France were formed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The process had started somewhat earlier and had continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the tenth and eleventh centuries people did not have surnames, whereas by the fifteenth century most of the population had acquired a second name. Between the 11th and 15th centuries it became customary for surnames to be assumed in Europe, but were not commonplace in England or Scotland before the Norman Conquest of 1066. They are to be found in the Domesday Book of 1086. Those of gentler blood assumed surnames at this time, but it was not until the reign of Edward II (1307-1327) that second names became general practice for all people. Early records of the name mention Geoffrey de la Tune, 1273, County Sussex. Thomas atte Toune of County Somerset, was documented during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377). Thurstan Toone of County Leicester, registered at Oxford University in 1602. William Green married Anne Towne at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in the year 1793.
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