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Totten Genealogy and Totten Family History Information

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About the Totten surname

The British claim that they invented surnames. The Doomsday book refers to the surname Totten as a derivative from "tot" meaning a village fool or idiot, however, the word "toten" is German for "dead"; as in the name of the German punk rock band "Die Toten Hosen (The dead Trousers)" . The East and West Totten and Totten Mountain still exist in Norway. If you follow migration patterns it's easy to see that Totten family migration from Germany to Norway and then to the UK; Scotland, Ireland and then England and the States, is highly plausible. No, I cannot be 100% sure; however, it's a better explanation than anything else I have seen. The only way to solve it is to match Y-DNA from families in Germany, Sweden, and the UK. If there is a significant match then the issue is solved.

The same root may be shared with many English place names - this from The British History Online website:

"This place is called in old record Todynton, and Totyngton, the latter is the more ancient (fn. 1). The etymology, whatever it be, is the same, it is probable, as that of Tooting in Surrey. Ing, a meadow, is very fequently found in the names of places derived from the Saxon. The meaning of Tot, or Tote (fn. 2), which I suppose to have been descriptive, is no where, I think, satisfactorily defined. It occurs in the names of many places besides those above mentioned, as Toteham in Essex, Toteham or Totham, now Tottenham in Middlesex, Totehele or Totehall, now Tottenham Court, in the parish of Pancers, Totteridge, &c." - [http://www.british-history.ac.uk/london-environs/vol3/pp503-516]