Apart from a few in Dublin, Toners are found almost exclusively in Ulster, particularly in counties Derry and Armagh.  A few in Ulster may be English.  The name is in Gaelic Ó Tomhrair, from a Norse personal name, Tomar.

However, the family is not of Norse origin, but was a sept of the Cenél Eoghain based originally on the banks of the Foyle, near Lifford in Co. Donegal.  They later migrated to Derry and Armagh.

The name is found in England, where it was early imported from Ireland (recorded as Tunere in 1242).  It can also be from le Toner, 'dweller by the farm or village', from Old English tun.

Variants of the name include Tonner, Tonra and Tonry.



Clan From the Gaelic clann which means literally 'children'.
Mac- From the Gaelic mac, meaning 'son'
O' From the Gaelic Ó, meaning 'grandson', 'grandchild' or 'descendant'; Ní is the femine form of Ó, meaning 'daughter' or 'descendant'
Plantation (Ulster) The redistribution of escheated lands after the defeat of the Ulster Gaelic lords and the 'Flight of the Earls' in 1607.  Only counties Donegal, Derry, Tyrone, Armagh, Fermanagh and Cavan were actually 'planted', portions of land there being distributed to English and Scottish families on their lands and for the building of bawns.
Sept A family group of shared ancestry living in the same locality
Undertakers Powerful English or Scottish landowners who undertook the plantation of British settlers on the lands they were granted.
Gaelic This word in Ireland has no relation to Scotland.  As a noun it is used to denote the Irish language, as an adjective to denote native Irish as opposed to Norman or English origin.
Erenagh From the Irish Gaelic airchinneach, meaning 'hereditary steward of church lands'.  A family would hold the ecclesiastical office and the right to the church or monastery lands, the incumbent at any one time being the erenagh.