This interesting surname has two possible sources; firstly, it may be of Old French origin, introduced into England after the Conquest of 1066, and is an example of the sizeable group of early European surnames that were gradually created from the habitual use of nicknames. The nicknames were given in the first instance with reference to a variety of characteristics, such as physical attributes or peculiarities, mental and moral characteristics, including supposed resemblance to an animal's or bird's appearance or disposition, or to habits of dress and occupation. The derivation is from the Olde French "talon", heel, and the nickname would have been given to a swift runner or to someone with a deformed heel...
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