Hi Jennifer!

I’m a fellow name enthusiast. I recently watched From Time to Time (2009). It’s based on a children’s book series from the 1950s.
It was a charming little movie. I recommend it! Great cast. Two characters had names that sent me straight to your site for answers, but none were to be found! Have you ever heard of these boys names–Toseland (Tolly for short) and Sefton? Do they have any meaning or historical significance, or do you think they were made up by the author?
Thanks!
Laura J.
Dear Laura,

Toseland and Sefton are both classic British surnames used for these characters. Both the -land and -ton suffix were used to indicate locations, meaning “land” and “town” accordingly.  Families with those surnames came from those places.  Toseland was recorded as Touleslund in 1220, literally translating to “Toli’s Grove.” Toli being a personal name or family name. Sefton is comprised of the Old Norse “sef” which means rush and translates to “the settlement where rushes grew.”

I have added both names to the BabyNames.com database!

Sincerely,

Jennifer

Jennifer Moss is the founder of BabyNames.com, author of The Baby Names Workbook, and Producer of The Baby Names Podcast. Jennifer is widely regarded as the leading expert on popular baby name trends and the naming process, serving as the authoritative source on the subject for national and international media.

Jennifer entered the tech arena in the 80s as a software developer and database architect, and became a pioneer in the Internet industry. In addition to operating BabyNames.com, Jennifer owns a web development agency in central California.