Welcome to the Tolley's of Devon
The name Tolley was derived from the
name Tolle which goes all the way back to the Domesday book. It was
originally a Nordic (Viking) name meaning tax collector.
The name Tolley was originally, TOLLE
(French). They were Huguenots who fled France because of persecution by
the Catholic majority. I understood that they were cannon makers for the
Lords of La Rochelle, and the name derived from the noise made in making
The name came from the occupation the
family once held, much like the Millers, the Coopers, the Smiths etc.
The original Tolley's were the toll takers on bridges and were most
common in the midlands.
The name of Talley or Tally is believed
by some historians to be derived fro the French name of Tallie, while
others state that it was taken from the ancient French word taillis,
meaning;a copse or grove, because of the residence of its first bearers
at a place of that description. It is from the last source that the
English family of Tallis took it's name, and it is believed possible
that this surname may have become Americanized to Talley.
The baptismal name of Bartholomew was
frequently shortened in early times to Tholy or Tholyn, and it is
considered probable that the Tolleys or Tollys derived their name from
this source. But the two last-mentioned forms are used interchangeably
with Talley and Tallly in the early American records.
Yet another possible derivation is from the
residence of its first bearers in the Welsh town of Talley. Among the
many early variants of the name are Taillis, Tailles, Tallis, Tallys,
Toly, Toli, Taly, Tollye, Tallie, Tallye, Tailley, Talleye, Taulley,
Tholy, Tholyn, Tolly, Tolley, Tally, Talley and others, of which the two
spellings last mentioned are those most generally used in America today,
while the two immediately preceding them are also frequently found. Of
the English family of Tallis, there is recorded in the year of 1273 of
one Richard Tailles, of County Cornwall. In the early sixteenth century
one Thomas Tallis of Tallys, a noted composer of the cathedral music,
who is believed to have been born about the year 1514 and to have died
about 1585, was living in England; and about 1698 one Aaron Tallis was
living in London.
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Devon Family History Society Member 13155
Genealogist Member 31059