Thomas Toby (1796) & Mary (1798) had 11 children in Exmouth, Devon. One of them, Robert, was a sailor who married Harriet Langbeer (1825 Bristol) at St James, Bristol in 1847. They had 7 children in Bristol including George (1861) my g gfthr. The name TOVY evolved after the move to Bristol. The baptisms of Robert's children were mainly recorded as TOBEY but some as TOVEY. George was baptised as TOBEY. Until recently I was unable to find him at the GRO or in the 1881 census because I had been looking for the name TOVEY. George had 11 children in Bristol all with surname TOVEY including my grandmother, Dorothy.
In Devon, the name TOBY is much more common than TOVEY while the reverse is true in Bristol. I think the change was caused by Bristolians mishearing the name and assuming it was the more common TOVEY. In addition a handwritten b can look like a v.
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