Thackrey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Thackrey is one of the many new names that came to England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The name Thackrey 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 Thackrey family

The surname Thackrey 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 Thackrey family

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

Thackrey 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 Thackrey family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Thackrey family

Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Thackrey or a variant listed above: William Thackwray settled in Philadelphia in 1829; John Thackeray settled in Philadelphia in 1856; Samuel Thackery settled in Philadelphia in 1868.


Contemporary Notables of the name Thackrey (post 1700) +

  • Sean Thackrey, American winemaker based in Marin County, California, known for his pioneering work in promoting California Syrah


The Thackrey 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)


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