Thame History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Thame is one of the many new names that came to England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Thame family lived in Oxfordshire. The name is an indication that its original bearer once lived near the River Thames.

Early Origins of the Thame family

The surname Thame was first found in Oxfordshire where the name is likely derived from the River Thame. Aluered de Tame was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086. [1] The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list Claricia de Thame in 1279. [2] Today, Thame is a market town and civil parish. "This town, which is evidently of Roman origin, is mentioned as a place of some importance at the commencement of the 10th century, when Wulfhere, King of Mercia, granted a charter dated 'in the vill called Thames.' In the year 970, Osketyl, Archbishop of York, died at Thame. It suffered much from the Danish invasions, particularly in 1010, and a fortification was erected here. At the Conquest it belonged to the Bishop of Lincoln, and till the reign of Edward VI. formed part of the extensive possessions of succeeding prelates, who conferred many benefits on the town, among which was the diverting through it the road that previously passed on its side. " [3] The family originally held estates in Chinnor, about 4 miles (6.4 km) southeast of Thame.

Early History of the Thame family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Thame research. Another 249 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1492, 1493 and 1500 are included under the topic Early Thame History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Thame Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Thame, Tharm, Tharme, Temes and others.

Early Notables of the Thame family (pre 1700)

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


United States Thame migration to the United States +

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Thame or a variant listed above were:

Thame Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Johann Thame, aged 23, arrived in New York in 1893 aboard the ship "Friesland" from Antwerp, Belgium [4]
Thame Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Julia Thame, aged 38, arrived in New York in 1913 aboard the ship "Kristianiafjord" from Kristiansand, Norway [5]
  • Michael Thame, aged 8, arrived in New York in 1913 aboard the ship "Kristianiafjord" from Kristiansand, Norway [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Thame (post 1700) +

  • Rachel de Thame (b. 1961), born Rachel Cohen, an English gardener and television presenter


  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J61G-2P6 : 6 December 2014), Johann Thame, 16 May 1893; citing departure port Antwerp, arrival port New York, ship name Friesland, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  5. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JJMN-Y2L : 6 December 2014), Julia Thame, 20 Oct 1913; citing departure port Kristiansand, Norway, arrival port New York, ship name Kristianiafjord, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  6. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JJMN-Y25 : 6 December 2014), Michael Thame, 20 Oct 1913; citing departure port Kristiansand, Norway, arrival port New York, ship name Kristianiafjord, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).


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