This is an English and sometimes Irish surname. The spellings are the often the same but the origins are quite different. In England the derivation is probably from the 12th century 'ton' plus the suffix 'er'. The general translation is one who came from a farm or hamlet, but worked somewhere else! Recorded in the spellings of Towner, Toner, Tonner, and Tooner, the original meaning was probably much more specific, and perhaps referred to a worker who was a contractor, at a time when most people lived at their place of work. However one of the earliest recordings is that of Andrew Le Toner, of Pinchbeck in Suffolk, in the year 1273, and this is most definitely a job descriptive entry...
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