- This interesting surname has two possible origins. Firstly, it may be of English locational origin from the Parishes of Great, Little or Duns Tew, all in Oxfordshire, recorded as Tewe and Teowe in the Domesday Book of 1086, and later appeared specifically as Tiwa Magna, in the Pipe Rolls of Oxfordshire (1165), Parva Tiwe, in the Curia Regis Rolls of that county (1207), and donestiva, in the Calendar of Charters and Rolls, Oxfordshire (circa 1200). The name derives from the Old English pre 7th Century element "tiewe" meaning a row or ridge, impling a "lengthy object", and Tew may have been the name of the long ridge at which the places are. It may also have originated from the Welsh "pew" meaning round or plump, and would therefore have been a nickname for a large person. The surname was first recorded in the early half of the 12th Century, (see below). Hugh le Tyw is recorded in the Assize Rolls of Cheshire (1286). On January 7th 1550, Annes and Joanna Tew married Robert Barrett, on December 15th 1565. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugo de Tiw, which was dated 1130, The Pipe Rolls of Oxfordshire, during the reign of King Henry 1, "The Lion of Justice", 1100 - 1135. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
Surnames reference. 2013.