There are two probable pre-medieval origins for this unusual name, both being Anglo-Saxon and both being descriptive nicknames. The first from the word "Tot" and relates to an actor who played the part of "death" in the medieval theatres and travelling pageants. The second is a nickname of endearment and was originally "Toto", a word used to describe a Grandfather or Elder of the family. It is also true that in England some name holders were given the nickname "Tooth or Dent" which Stuck as a surname, not because they didn't have teeth but, because they had retained their teeth, in whole or part, in an age when most people were toothless by twenty. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Tothe (Witness). which was dated 1219, The York Assize Court during the reign of King Henry III, The Frenchman, 1216 - 1272. 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.