Thornbay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

The ancestors of the bearers of the Thornbay family name are thought have lived in ancient Anglo-Saxon England. They were first found in Thornborough found in the counties of Buckinghamshire and North Yorkshire. Thornbay is a topographic surname, which was given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a hill, stream, church, or type of tree. During the Middle Ages, as society became more complex, individuals needed a way to be distinguishable from others. Toponymic surnames were developed as a result of this need. Various features in the landscape or area were used to distinguish people from one another. In this case the surname was originally derived from the Old English thorn broc which means that the original bearers of the surname Thornbay were named due to their close proximity to the stream by the thorns.

Early Origins of the Thornbay family

The surname Thornbay was first found in Cumberland where they held a family seat at Selsheyd (now known as Selside.) This chapelry, in the parish, union, and ward of Kendal is now in the county of Westmorland. "The chapel, dedicated to St. Thomas, was erected in lieu of a more ancient edifice, about 1720, by the inhabitants, on a site given by William Thornburgh, Esq.; and was rebuilt on an enlarged scale in 1837, at an expense of about £600." [1]

Important Dates for the Thornbay family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Thornbay research. Another 63 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1313, 1391, 1394, 1401, 1414, 1401, 1404, 1416, 1419, 1563, 1593, 1551, 1641, 1593, 1603, 1617, 1588 and 1603 are included under the topic Early Thornbay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Thornbay Spelling Variations

Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Thornbay include Thornborough, Thornbury, Thornberry, Thornborrowe, Thornbery, Thornburgh and many more.

Early Notables of the Thornbay family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: Sir John Thornbury; and Walter de Thornbury (died 1313), an English-born statesman and cleric probably born in Herefordshire who held the office of Lord Chancellor of Ireland. William Thornburgh was Member of Parliament for Westmorland in 1391, 1394, 1401 and 1414. Roland Thornburgh was Member of Parliament for Westmorland in 1401, 1404, 1416 and 1419. Edward Thornborough (born c.1563) was an English politician, Member...
Another 72 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Thornbay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Thornbay family

Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Thornbay or a variant listed above: Widow Thornbrugh who settled in Barbados in 1680 with three children and servants; George Thornburgh settled in Barbados with his servants in 1680; James and Mary Thornbury settled in New England in 1805.

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Citations

  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
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