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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: English-Alt, English, German, Welsh-Alt, Welsh

Where did the Welsh Thomas family come from? What is the Welsh Thomas family crest and coat of arms? When did the Thomas family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Thomas family history?

The roots of the surname Thomas lie in the rugged landscape of Wales. Thomas was a popular Medieval given throughout Europe, coming the popular biblical name. It is ultimately derived from the Aramaic personal name meaning "twin." Prior to the Norman Conquest, this name was rarely found, but by the 13th and 14th centuries, it became extremely common in Britain.


Welsh surnames are relatively few in number, but they have an inordinately large number of spelling variations. There are many factors that explain the preponderance of Welsh variants, but the earliest is found during the Middle Ages when Welsh surnames came into use. Scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, which often resulted in a single person's name being inconsistently recorded over his lifetime. The transliteration of Welsh names into English also accounts for many of the spelling variations: the unique Brythonic Celtic language of the Welsh had many sounds the English language was incapable of accurately reproducing. It was also common for members of a same surname to change their names slightly, in order to signify a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations. For all of these reasons, the many spelling variations of particular Welsh names are very important. The surname Thomas has occasionally been spelled Thomas, Tomas, MacThomas, FitzThomas, Thomasett and others.

First found in Breconshire (Welsh: Sir Frycheiniog), a traditional county in southern Wales, which takes its name from the Welsh kingdom of Brycheiniog (5th-10th centuries), where the family claims descendance from Owen Glendower, Lord of Glyndwyrdwy, Prince of South Wales.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Thomas research. Another 193 words(14 lines of text) covering the years 1613, 1689, 1665, 1683, 1677, 1683, 1683, 1689, 1633, 1677, 1654, 1656 and are included under the topic Early Thomas History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 105 words(8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Thomas Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Thomas family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 149 words(11 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


In the 1800s and 1900s, many Welsh families left for North America, in search of land, work, and freedom. Those who made the trip successfully helped contribute to the growth of industry, commerce, and the cultural heritage of both Canada and the United States. In the immigration and passenger lists were a number of people bearing the name Thomas

Thomas Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Joe, John, Robert, and Nathaniel Thomas, who all settled in Virginia in 1621
  • Christopher Thomas settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Carsten Thomas, aged 28, arrived in New Netherland(s) in 1639
  • Abra Thomas, who arrived in Virginia in 1648
  • Caleb Thomas, who landed in Maryland in 1651

Thomas Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Matheus Thomas, who sailed for America in 1709 with his wife and daughters
  • Heinrich Thomas came to America in 1709 settling in Carolina or Pennsylvania
  • Andreas Thomas, who landed in New York, NY in 1710-1714
  • Alexander Thomas, who settled in Virginia in 1717
  • Edwin Thomas, who came to Nevis in 1747

Thomas Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Amyus Thomas, who arrived in New York in 1807
  • Angus Thomas, aged 45, landed in New York in 1812
  • Carl Thomas, who arrived in Texas in 1846
  • Llewellyn Thomas, who was naturalized in Iowa in 1851
  • A S Thomas, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851

Thomas Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century

  • Austin William Thomas, who landed in Mississippi in 1902


  • William Thomas (b. 1959), American international authority on geriatric medicine
  • Cyrus Thomas (1825-1910), American anthropologist and entomologist
  • Danny Thomas (1914-1991), American nightclub comedian and television and film actor (born Muzyad Yahkoob)
  • Dave Thomas (1932-2002), American founder of Wendy’s International restaurant chain and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Margaret "Marlo" Thomas (b. 1938), American actress best known for her role as Ann Marie on the television show "That Girl"
  • Edward Donnall Thomas (1920-2012), American physician, researcher, co-winner of the 1990 Nobel Prize in Medicine
  • Michael Tilson Thomas (b. 1944), American conductor, pianist and composer
  • Martha Crey Thomas (1857-1935), American feminist
  • Norman Mattoon Thomas (1884-1968), American socialist leader
  • Sergeant Herbert Joseph Thomas (1918-1943), American Marine awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1943



  • Ancestors and Kin... by Robert Walden Coggeshall.
  • The Descendants of William Thomas by Francis Marion Ammon.
  • Thomas Ancestors: A History of a Thomas Family by Mark Everett Thomas.

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: I dduw bo'r diolch
Motto Translation: To God be thanks.



  1. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  2. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  4. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  5. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  6. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  7. Evans, Gwynfor. Wales: A History: 2000 Years of Welsh History. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1996. Print. (ISBN 0-76070-120-2).
  8. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  9. Morgan, T. J. Morgan and Prys Morgan. Welsh Surnames. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1985. Print.
  10. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  11. ...

The Thomas Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Thomas Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 14 October 2014 at 03:32.

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