T is for …

The latest in my ad hoc series on surname origins.

Based on: Reaney, P H, (ed. Wilson, R M), 1997, Oxford Dictionary of English Surnames, 3rd ed., OUP, Oxford, unless otherwise stated.


Earliest in Andrew’s Kindred:  Andrew Talbot. born about 1840, Oakthorpe, Derbyshire.

There are competing theories.  One is derived from Old French Talbot, a wooden billet hung round the neck of an animal to prevent straying.  However, the root that seems to have more credence as a personal name is derived from the Normandy dialect talebot, literally lampblack, after robbers who blacked their faces to avoid recognition.


And still of a winter’s night, they say, when the wind is in the trees,
When the moon is a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,
When the road is a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,
A highwayman comes riding—
A highwayman comes riding, up to the old inn-door.

From The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes (verse X of XI), courtesy of PoemHunter.com.


Earliest in Andrew’s Kindred:   Elizabeth Taylor, baptised 12 November 1820, Measham, Derbyshire.

Occupational, from Old French tailleur, meaning tailor.


Earliest in Andrew’s Kindred:  Samuel Teece, born about 1818, Staffordshire.

Also Tice.  From Old German Tietsa, Teucia, Tezia (f), hypocoristics of Old German names in Theud-.  Hypocoristic names are nicknames or pet names, usually shortened and denoting affection.  In this case for names beginning with Theud, such as Theudebald, Theudemir, Theuderic, etc.


Earliest (and only) in Andrew’s Kindred:  Elizabeth Thacker, born about 1791, Staffordshire.

Occupational:  From Old Norse for thatcher.

89 houghton12
Thatched cottages in Mill Street, Houghton, Cambridgeshire.


Earliest in Andrew’s Kindred:  William Tomlinson, born about 1787, Sedgley, Staffordshire.

Son of Tomlin, itself a double diminutive of Tom or Thomas.


Earliest in Andrew’s Kindred:  John Toon (fifth great grandfather), baptised 17 January 1739, Whitwick, Leicestershire.

From Old English tūn, originally denoting a fence or enclosure, but became enclosure round a house, homestead, village, town.  So, a person who lived in a village or town.  The Geordie toon is not mentioned.


Earliest in Andrew’s Kindred:  Joseph Turley, father of Esther Turley (fifth great grandmother), baptised 25 December 1756, Sedgley, Staffordshire.

There is no mention in Reaney.  Ancestry attributes the name to the Irish patronymic Toirdealbhaigh, from the Old Norse Thor and Irish Gaelic dealbhach, meaning like, or in the shape of.


Earliest in Andrew’s Kindred:  Elizabeth Turner, born about 1786, Much Wenlock, Shropshire.

Occupational:  a person who turns or shapes wood or other materials on a lathe.  This, Reaney says, is the common root, but there is some thought that it could be to do with taking part in a tourney (tournament – jousting, etc.) or from turn-hare, being quick enough to turn a hare.


Earliest in Andrew’s Kindred:  Samuel Tustin, born about 1807, Solihull, Worcestershire.

This is related to Thurstan and from Old Danish Thorsten, meaning Thor’s stone.


Earliest in Andrew’s Kindred:  Thomas Twigger, father of Job Twigger baptised 19 November 1820, Bubbenhall, Warwickshire.

This is northern in origin, from Old English twigge, meaning a slender shoot.  Therefore a slim or skinny person.


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