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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Thames family come from? What is the English Thames family crest and coat of arms? When did the Thames family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Thames family history?

The name Thames was carried to England in the enormous movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Thames family lived in Oxfordshire. The name is an indication that its original bearer once lived near the River Thames.

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Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Thame, Tharm, Tharme, Temes and others.

First found in Oxfordshire where they held a family seat from ancient times as Lords of the manor of Chinnor. At the taking of the Domesday Book in 1086, a census initiated by Duke William of Normandy after his conquest of England in 1066, this manor was held by Leofwin from whom the Thame family are conjecturally descended. In pre-Conquest times the village was called Chenore.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Thames research. Another 219 words(16 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Thames History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Thames Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Thames or a variant listed above:

Thames Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Unbwin Thames, aged 27, landed in Mobile, Ala in 1832

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  • Marcus Markley Thames (b. 1977), American professional baseball outfielder
  • Byron Thames (b. 1969), American television and film actor and musician
  • Eric A. Thames (b. 1986), American professional baseball outfielder
  • Josť Ignacio Thames (1762-1832), Argentine statesman and priest


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  1. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  2. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  3. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  4. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  5. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  6. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  7. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  8. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  9. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  10. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
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The Thames Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Thames Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 31 October 2013 at 10:34.

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