Athorn History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The founding heritage of the Athorn family is in the Anglo-Saxon culture that once dominated in Britain. The name Athorn comes from when one of the family worked as a person who carved objects out of horn or made musical instruments. This name was also given to a person who was employed as a hornblower; in the Middle Ages, workmen were often summoned to work by the blowing of a horn. The surname Athorn may also be a patronym derived from the personal name Horn. It may also be a local name given to someone who lived in one of the settlements of Horne in Rutland, Somerset, or Surrey, or near a bend, spur, or tongue of land.

Another source notes that the name is "a well-known Old English personal name, probably of Norse origin. Aluuin Horne was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086." [1]

Early Origins of the Athorn family

The surname Athorn was first found in Middlesex and Hertfordshire where "Alwin Horne held lands before the making of the Domesday." [2] "The name of Horn or Horne, at present well represented around Wisbech, is also found in Kent. It was also represented in these two counties in the 13th century, as well as in London, Suffolk, Sussex, Oxfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hunts, Northamptonshire, and Wiltshire." [3]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list: Adam Honi in Wiltshire; Henry Horn in Northamptonshire; Walter Horn in Oxfordshire; and Roger de Horne in Kent. [4] Over in Somerset, Kirby's Quest listed: William atte Horn and Thomas atte Home, temp 1 Edward III (in the first year of Edward III's reign. [5]

Further to the north, "John Horn was beaten and evil-treated on the Border, 1279." [1] The "border" referenced was indeed the infamous border between England and Scotland and events such as this may have precipitated King Edward I's intrusion into Scotland a few years later in 1296.

Early History of the Athorn family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Athorn research. Another 123 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1279, 1400, 1434, 1404, 1406, 1407, 1487, 1540, 1510, 1579, 1560, 1580 and 1568 are included under the topic Early Athorn History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Athorn Spelling Variations

The first dictionaries that appeared in the last few hundred years did much to standardize the English language. Before that time, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. The language was changing, incorporating pieces of other languages, and the spelling of names changed with it. Athorn has been spelled many different ways, including Horn, Horne, Athorne, Athorn and others.

Early Notables of the Athorn family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include Henry Horne ( fl. 1400-1434), an English politician, Member of Parliament for Kent in 1404 and Sheriff of Kent (1406-1407); Sir William Whorne, Lord Mayor of London in 1487; Brother William Horne (d. 1540), one of the "Carthusian Martyrs"; and Robert...
Another 48 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Athorn Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Athorn migration to the United States +

Thousands of English families in this era began to emigrate the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. Although the passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe, those who made the voyage safely were rewarded with opportunities unavailable to them in their homeland. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Athorns to arrive in North America:

Athorn Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • William Athorn, aged 60, who landed in America from Sevenoaks, England, in 1908
  • Wm. Henry Athorn, aged 40, who immigrated to the United States from Leeds, England, in 1909
  • Heath Athorn, aged 28, who landed in America from Leeds, England, in 1909
  • Albert Athorn, aged 26, who immigrated to the United States from Sheffield, England, in 1915
  • Sarah A. Athorn, aged 49, who immigrated to America from Sheffield, England, in 1920

Australia Athorn migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Athorn Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Jane Athorn, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Prince Regent" in 1839 [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Athorn (post 1700) +

  • Mark Athorn (b. 1967), former Australian rules footballer


The Athorn Motto +

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: Nil desperandum
Motto Translation: Never despairing.


  1. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  2. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  4. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. ^ Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  6. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) PRINCE REGENT 1839. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1839PrinceRegent.htm


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