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Toomey Coat of Arms / Toomey Family Crest

Toomey Coat of Arms / Toomey Family Crest

Three quarters of the families in Ireland with the surname Toomey, in Irish O'Tuama, belong to County Cork. Most of the remainder are from the neighbouring counties of Kerry and Limerick or in the capital. Toomey is the spelling which is favoured in County Limerick. Toumy is another variant which has survived. Early records of the name mention Lylph de Twenlowe, who was documented in the year 1208 in East Cheshire. The tradition of surnames in Ireland developed spontaneously, as the population increased and the former practice, first of single names and then of ephemeral patronymics or agnomina of the nickname type proved insufficiently definitive. At first the surname was formed by prefixing 'Mac' to the father's Christian name or 'O 'to that of a grandfather or earlier ancestor. Ireland was one of the earliest countries to evolve a system of hereditary surnames. They came into being fairly generally in the 11th century, and indeed a few were formed before the year 1000. William de Twenlowe of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. John Twemlowe of Chester was listed in the Wills at Chester in 1649. During the Middle Ages, when people were unable to read or write, signs were needed for all visual identification. For several centuries city streets in were filled with signs of all kinds, public houses, tradesmen and even private householders found them necessary. This was an age when there were no numbered houses, and an address was a descriptive phrase that made use of a convenient landmark. At this time, coats of arms came into being, for the practical reason that men went into battle heavily armed and were difficult to recognise. It became the custom for them to adorn their helmets with distinctive crests, and to paint their shields with animals and the like. Coats of arms accompanied the development of surnames, becoming hereditary in the same way.


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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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