Recorded in many spellings including Tennick, Tennoch, Tennock, Tunnick, Tunna, Tunno, Tunnoch, Tunnock, Tunnow, and possibly others, this is a surname of Scottish origins. It is believed to be locational or residential from some 'lost' medieval place called 'Tunhlaw' or similar, meaning 'The settlement on the hill'. No such place or anything apparently close to it has been identified in the gazetters of the past five centuries, the nearest being Loch Tuna, in Argyll. This is not in itself wholly unusual. It is estimated that at least three thousand former villages and even small towns have totally disappeared from the landscape of the British Isles in the period. In the now 21st century their only visible reminder is usually the surname itself, often as with this one, in a series of variant spellings. The name is ancient with the first recorded use being that of William Tunnoc, a charter witness at the Abbey of Kelso in 1160, whilst later recordings showing early developments include Nycholas Tonnok, who was the presbyter of St Andrews in 1414, Margaret Tunnow, a landlord of Peebles in 1439, and Robert Tunno, a witness at the convent of Melrose in 1504.

Surnames reference. 2013.

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