name is North German, to be more exact Westphalian – Lower
The oldest form of the name is Thöne, also Thune; it crops
up from 1283 to 1515. Besides this Thone, Tonne, Tune, Dune and
Theune are also found. It also happens that for one and the same
person the written form of the name changes.
For example the later founder of the Warburg grammar school, Heinrich
Thöne registered as Henrikus Theunen Warburgensis at Cologne
Besides Thöne – as in the tax lists of Warburg –
the names, almost like pet names, "Thonemann" and "Thönemann"
– often with double "n" in the middle – were
It should be remembered that in the late Middle Ages it was still
customary to use only the first name; the family name – derived
from the area of origin or the place of origin or also from the
occupation – gradually became important.
Only later was a fixed written form customary.
It should be regarded as an established fact that the name Thöne
/ Thonemann in Warburg has no connection with "Antonius"
in its origins, a word formation to which the modern form of the
name could quickly lead.
Also when registering our family
coat of arms n the German coat of arms list, published
by "Herold", society for heraldry, genealogy and related
sciences in Berlin, the Herold's committee first of all assumed
this. If this were the case, the name Thöne would also be represented
in the predominantly Catholic States of Southern Germany; according
to a 1936 survey of all available address books of all Thönes
living at the time it is not present there, but exclusively in North
Rather the name means "Zaun" (fence), Low German "Thon,
Thun, Thün", from Indo-European "Thunnum", comparable
with the Anglo-Saxon "tun", "dun" and the English
word "town", pronounced "taun", and especially
the Celtic, represented in so many places "dunon" or "dunum",
which taking the basic meaning of the word, means the castle, the
town; Zaun (fence) = enclosure, hedge, pen, fenced in land, yard,
As the name of a person, the family name from the basic meaning
indicates the owner of a fenced in, fortified farm or property.
Recent researches finished in 2003 conclude that this notation of
the name "Thonemann" originally spread only from Scherfede.
Already by mid of the 17th century this writing of the name was
found in several Scherfede documents. (This paragraph was inserted
by Ralf A. H. Thonemann.)