The surname of TOOTELL was a locational name 'of Totehill', the look out hill. Many spots are so called in all parts of England, a hill with a good outlook against an enemy's approach. There are two Tottle Banks, each in the old parish of Ulverston, each with a good outlook, from where the original bearer may have taken his name. 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. 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 11. (1307-1327) that second names became general practice for all people. Early records of the name mention Custance Totel, County Cambridge, 1273. Johannes de Tutill of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. William Tootle of Atherton, was listed in the Wills at Chester in 1587.
There is a mention of the name in the Privy Purse expenses of Henry V111, dated 1531, which states 'Item the same daye paied for a great bote, to wayte upon the Kinges grace fro Yorke place to Brydwell, and fro thence to Totehill'. The bulk of European surnames in countries such as England and France were formed in the 13th and 14th centuries. The process started earlier and continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the 11th century people did not have surnames, whereas by the 15th century they did.
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