17th century Devon

Parish records are kept in England starting in the late 16th century.
There is a
short period, at the time of Cromwell's commonwealth, when the
records are
incomplete and so connections are more difficult. The earliest parish
records are
for Tolchards in Dean Prior but the first to adopt the name
TOLCHER is
another WALTER TOLCHER(also spelled Toolcher) living in the
small hamlet
of Stoke Gabriel in Devon. He was born in Dean Prior in 1596 There
is no parish
record of his marriage to a woman called Ames, but their children are
recorded as
being born between 1630 and 1643. Other TOLCHERS (also spelt
Toulcher),
notably John and Henry, are found in Totnes and they too appear to be
related to
the Tolchards of Dean Prior. However there are also records of an
ARTHUR
TOLCHER born 1636 in Brixham Devon and there are also many
records of the
names TOLCHARD at the same time.
Devon record office also holds Muster Rolls which refer to three
persons
reporting in the mid 17th Century, Two are TOLCHARD and one is
TOLCHER, all are recorded as in the Archdeaconry of Totnes Devon,
(a much
larger area of Devon than simply Totnes).

Other official records are the Hearth Tax returns for 1674.
Holne Parish; Richd Tolcher 2 hearths
Thos Toulcher 1 hearth
Sherford parish; Jos Tolcherd 1 hearth
Totnes parish; Walter Tolcher 1 hearth
Henry Toulcher 3 hearths
South Pool parish: Tho Toulsher 2 hearths

Devon Protestation Rolls for 1641 record
Charlton parish; Tolchard George
Tolchard John
South Pool parish; Tolcherd Peter
Tolcherd Thomas
Harberton parish; Tolcherd John
Tolcher William
Holne Parish; Tolchard John
Tolchard Richd
Tolchard Thomas
Stoke Gabriel parish: Tolcher Walter
Dean Prior parish; Tolchard Jasper

There are also TOULCHERS in Stoke Fleming and Totnes, Devon,
and a larger
line of TOLCHERS in Ashburton Devon. Other places that record
17th century
Tolcher's include Staveton, Churston Ferrers, South Pool, and
Malborough all
parishes in Devon. Many of these are marriage records of Tolchers
moving into
the areas of Devon inhabited by the families of their spouses.

By 1690 TOLCHERS appear in the main city of the area, Plymouth,
for the first
time. It is not yet possible to trace them back to the earlier Tolcher's
in the
Totnes area.

Other Tolchers appear to be connected to Tolchard's in the Devon
parishes of
Holne, Ugborough, South Brent, Stokenham, Blackawton East
Allington and
Buckfastleigh.

Living in the Plymouth and Dartmouth and the port of Brixham would
make it
possible to suggest that many of the TOLCHERS were connected with
seafaring
in some way. However the Tolchers of Totnes and Devon seem to have
entered
into the commercial life of those two towns. My own family tree
eventually has a
significant involvement with the sea in and around the port of Salcombe
in
particular, but also elsewhere. Indeed it is the shipping connections
which dictate
the places to which they disperse in the 19th century.
14th-16th Century Devon

The earliest record I have discovered for the name related to
TOLCHER is in 1332 in Ideford, Devon England. A WALTER
TOLCHET paid tax in that year to help fund the King's overseas
wars. Paying tax then indicate that you held a significant
property interest as only those with wealth could be taxed. There
is also a record of a RICHARD TOLCHET in 1359 in Dene
Devon. Henri Le Tocher is discovered in Drewsteignton in 1333
and a William Tolchet is discovered in Dean Prior owning land
in 1403. He is also quoted in documents as holding 'one fardel of
land per seruicium militare' in 1408. The land belonged to
Ramsey Abbey but is not more specifically identified.

Prior to Parish records the Muster Rolls for Dean Prior (1569)
record an Andrew and John Tolchard (harquibusiers) and Robert
and Thomas Tolchard (Archers). There are others in Dean Prior
for example Christopher Tolchard in the Subsidy Roll
of 1524.
In the subsidy roll for 1544 there are two Tolchards (Marjorie a
widow and John) in 'Dean Pryor Parish'.
South Devon 1570
Stoke Gabriel Devon