Show ContentsThelwall History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Thelwall family

The surname Thelwall was first found in Northumberland, where they held a family seat at Thirlwall Castle on the bank of the River Tipalt which dates back to about the 12th-century castle. It was fortified in about 1330 by John Thirlwall.

"Thirlewall Castle, now a picturesque ruin in Northumberland, near Gilsland Spa, was the residence of the family in early times. Thirlwall is on, and derives its name from, the celebrated Roman Wall, which at this point was thirled or bored through (Anglo-Saxon: thryrlian.)" [1]

In 1999, the Northumberland National Park Authority took over the management of the castle to prevent further decay. Another source provides a cleared understanding of the etymology of the place name. "It has its name from the Roman thralling or barrier wall running through it, to thirl, in the old Northumberland dialect, signifying to bind or enthral. Its proprietors in remote times were called barons, and held under the kings of Scotland as lords of Tindale. The church of Hexham acquired lands here at an early period; the Swinburnes had possessions within the manor in the time of Edward I., and, by marriage with the Thirlwalls, became possessed of the whole estate, which they afterwards sold to Henry, Earl of Carlisle. Mention of a castle first occurs in 1369." [2]

Early History of the Thelwall family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Thelwall research. Another 189 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1150, 1290, 1528, 1562, 1630, 1601, 1659, 1640, 1648, 1654, 1616, 1656, 1797 and 1875 are included under the topic Early Thelwall History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Thelwall Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Thirlwall, Thirlway, Thirwall, Thelwall, Thelwal and many more.

Early Notables of the Thelwall family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was Sir Bevis Thirlwall who married into the Lloyds of Denbigh. Sir Eubule Thelwall (1562-1630), was Principal of Jesus College, Oxford, fifth son of John Thelwall of Bathafarn, near Ruthin. Simon Thelwall (1601-1659), was an English politician, Member of Parliament for Denbigh (1640-1648), Member of Parliament for Denbighshire in 1654...
Another 56 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Thelwall Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Thelwall family

Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: Robert Thirlwell, who was naturalized in Indiana sometime between 1838 and 1840; and James Thelwell who settled in New York State in 1699.

Contemporary Notables of the name Thelwall (post 1700) +

  • John Thelwall (1764-1834), English poet, best known for his political activism during the French Revolution, son of Joseph Thelwall (1731–1772), a silk mercer, and grandson of Walter Thelwall, a naval surgeon

  1. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print. on Facebook