Thackeray History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Thackeray is one of the many new names that came to England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The name Thackeray comes from the ancient Norman given name Tancred. Another source claims "this surname is derived from a geographical locality. 'at the thack-wray,' i.e. the corner or place set apart for storing thack, or thatch." [1] And yet another notes "Thackray, or Thackwray, or Thackery, is a name that has its present home in the West Riding [of Yorkshire.]" [2]

As to add to this last entry, another source notes that "the Thackerays descended from a family of yeomen who had been settled for several generations at Hampsthwaite, a hamlet on the Nidd in the West Riding of Yorkshire. " [3]

Early Origins of the Thackeray family

The surname Thackeray was first found in Cambridgeshire where they held a family seat anciently, and historians claim that the family probably sprang from Tancred, a Norman Baron, who lived in 912 A.D, and share a common ancestry with the Tankervilles and Tancreds. [4]

One of the first records of the family was found in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 where William de la Thekere was listed in Norfolk. Later the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed Johannes de Thakwra and Robertas de Thakwra. [1]

Early History of the Thackeray family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Thackeray research. Another 90 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1811 and 1863 are included under the topic Early Thackeray History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Thackeray Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Thackeray are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Thackeray include Thackary, Thackery, Thackwray and others.

Early Notables of the Thackeray family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Thackeray Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Thackeray migration to the United States +

Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Thackeray, or a variant listed above:

Thackeray Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Thackeray, who settled in Philadelphia in 1856
Thackeray Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Lance Thackeray, aged 37, who immigrated to America from London, in 1904
  • Alexander Thackeray, aged 61, who landed in America from Cardiff, in 1905
  • Charles W. Thackeray, aged 23, who settled in America from Eccleshill, England, in 1911
  • Edgar Thackeray, aged 22, who immigrated to the United States from Leeds, English, in 1912
  • Frederica Alice Thackeray, aged 31, who immigrated to the United States from Blackpool, England, in 1913
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Thackeray migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Thackeray Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • Joseph Thackeray, aged 55, who immigrated to Canada, in 1922

Australia Thackeray migration to Australia +

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

Thackeray Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • M.A. Thackeray, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Henry Porcher" in 1838 [5]

Contemporary Notables of the name Thackeray (post 1700) +

  • William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-1863), English novelist, born at Calcutta, the only child of Richmond and Anne Thackeray, famous for his satirical works, particularly Vanity Fair
  • George Thackeray (1777-1850), English provost of King's College, Cambridge, born at Windsor, the fourth and youngest son of Frederick Thackeray (1737-1782), a physician of Windsor
  • Francis Thackeray (1793-1842), Church of England clergyman and author, the sixth son of William Makepeace Thackeray (1749–1813), of the Bengal civil service
  • Peter Robert Thackeray (b. 1950), Kenyan born former English cricketer
  • Andrew John "Andy" Thackeray (b. 1968), English former professional footballer
  • Anthony Thackeray (b. 1986), English rugby league footballer
  • Colonel Sir Edward Talbot Thackeray VC, KCB (1836-1927), English recipient of the Victoria Cross
  • Frederick Rennell Thackeray (1775-1860), British General, Colonel Commandant Royal Engineers, third son of Dr. Frederick Thackeray, physician of Windsor
  • John Thackeray (1869-1930), British biblical scholar at King's College, Cambridge
  • A David Thackeray, South African astronomer, eponym of Thackeray's Globules


The Thackeray 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: Nobilitas sola virtus
Motto Translation: Virtue is the sole nobility.


  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  3. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  4. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  5. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) HENY PORCHER 1838. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1838HenryPorcher.htm


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