- This is an English 'lost' medieval village surname. It probably originally meant the 'felda' by the toller', with a felda being in ancient times a large area of unfenced land, used for grazing and more akin to the concept of a prairie than to the later 'field', which described a fenced enclosure. As regards 'toller', there are at least twenty places in England named with the prefix 'Toll or Toller' including the exotically named villages of Toller Fratrum, Toller Porcorum, and Toller Whelme, in the county of Dorset and all describing places which stood on the River Toller - except that at sometime in the past the name was changed to the River Hooke! It seems that 'toller' may have meant hollow or as applied geographically, to have described a stream or river that ran through steep valleys and in the case of Tollerfield, probably an expanse of steep grazing land above a river. This may suggest that Tollerfield as a village, was one of many that was only occupied during the summer months when cattle were taken to be grazed on the high ground. What is certain is that over the past five centuries an estimated five thousand villages and hamlets have disappeared from the British landscape leaving as their only reminder, the surname or names. In this case the earliest recording in the surviving registers of the city of London is that of John Tollerfield, who was a christening witness at St Botolphs without Aldgate, on August 28th 1614.
Surnames reference. 2013.