Show ContentsThackray History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The vast movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest of England in 1066 brought the Thackray family name to the British Isles. Thackray 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 Thackray family

The surname Thackray 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 Thackray family

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

Thackray Spelling Variations

Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Thackary, Thackery, Thackwray and others.

Early Notables of the Thackray family

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

Australia Thackray migration to Australia +

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

Thackray Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Peter Thackray, (b. 1796), aged 27, English farm labouer who was convicted in York, Yorkshire, England for 7 years for larceny, transported aboard the "Commodore Hayes" in April 1823, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land), he was executed in 1825 5
  • Mr. Charles Thackray, English convict who was convicted in York, Yorkshire, England for life, transported aboard the "Blundell" on 13th March 1844, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) 6

Contemporary Notables of the name Thackray (post 1700) +

  • John Philip "Jake" Thackray (1938-2002), English singer-songwriter, poet and journalist, perhaps best known for his Jake Thackray and Songs, a six-part television series recorded in 1980 and broadcast on BBC2 in 1981
  • Kris Thackray (b. 1988), English professional footballer who currently plays for Alemannia Aachen
  • Jeremy Andrew Thackray (b. 1961), birth name of Everett True, an English music journalist and musician
  • Jamie Thackray (b. 1979), English rugby league footballer for the London Broncos
  • Jane Thackray (b. 1968), New Zealand former basketball player for England women's national basketball team
  • Brigadier William Carson Thackray (b. 1894), Canadian Commandant of Petawawa Military Camp 7

The Thackray 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. Convict Records of Australia. Retrieved 4th March 2021 from
  6. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 25th October 2020). Retrieved from
  7. Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2011, October 3) William Thackray. Retrieved from on Facebook