Thin History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Thin is a name that came to England in the 11th century wave of migration that was set off by the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Thin family lived in Shropshire. The name, however, is a strange contraction of the phrase of the Inn, resulting from the fact that an early member of the family was the proprietor of such an establishment. "The name is derived from the mansion or inn at Stretton, in the county of Salop, (Shropshire) to which the freehold lands of the family, with various detached copyholds, were attached. " [1]

Early Origins of the Thin family

The surname Thin was first found in Shropshire where they were Lords of the Manor of Church Stretton. Traditionally, the name was originally Botfield or Botville, and Geoffrey and Oliver Bouteville came into England from a distinguished family in Pictou in France about 1180. [1] [2]

"The appearance of this name on the Abbey Roll seems sadly at variance with the statement of Matthew Paris, who records that the first of the Botevilles who came to England were two brothers, both of knightly rank, Geoffrey and Oliver Boteville, who brought a body of foreign auxiliaries from Poitou and Gascone, to assist King John against his rebellious barons. Sir Geoffrey, the elder brother, appears to have received a grant of the lands of William D'Albini, Earl of Arundel, at Shelton, in Shropshire, and was constituted Governor of Belvoir Castle. From his grandson, John Botevile, recorded among the knights of Shropshire, present at the siege of Caerlaverock Castle, derived John Botevile, who, from his residence in one of the Inns of Court, acquired the soubriquet of "John of th' Inne," and thence came the surname of Thynne, as now borne by John's descendant, the Marquee of Bath. The Botfeilds, of Hopton Court. co. Salop, and Norton Hall, co. Northampton, who formerly spelt their name Botevile, deduce their line from the old knightly race." [3]

Another source confirms the Boteville, Thynne relationship noted above. [2] Ironically the two names which are not phonetically similar which is usually the case became interchangeable, bearing the same history.

Early History of the Thin family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Thin research. Another 94 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1547, 1546, 1578, 1639, 1601, 1629, 1605, 1670, 1640, 1670, 1610, 1669, 1660, 1640, 1714, 1544 and 1608 are included under the topic Early Thin History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Thin Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries. For that reason, spelling variations are common among many Anglo-Norman names. The shape of the English language was frequently changed with the introduction of elements of Norman French, Latin, and other European languages; even the spelling of literate people's names were subsequently modified. Thin has been recorded under many different variations, including Botfield, Botville, Boteville, Botfeld, Botevile, Thynne, Tyne, Tine, Tynes, O'Tyne, Thinn, O'Thinn, Thin, Then, Them and many more.

Early Notables of the Thin family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was William Thynne (d. 1546), editor of Chaucer's works who claimed to have been younger son of John de la Inne. "His family bore the alternative surname of Botfield or Boteville, and he is often called 'Thynne alias Boteville.' " [4] Sir Thomas Thynne (ca. 1578-1639), of Longleat, Wiltshire, was an English landowner and politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1601 and 1629; Sir James...
Another 75 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Thin Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Thin family to Ireland

Some of the Thin family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 59 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Thin migration to the United States +

To escape the uncertainty of the political and religious uncertainty found in England, many English families boarded ships at great expense to sail for the colonies held by Britain. The passages were expensive, though, and the boats were unsafe, overcrowded, and ridden with disease. Those who were hardy and lucky enough to make the passage intact were rewarded with land, opportunity, and social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families went on to be important contributors to the young nations of Canada and the United States where they settled. Thins were some of the first of the immigrants to arrive in North America:

Thin Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William Thin, who landed in New York State in 1822
  • John Peter Thin, who landed in Iowa in 1887 [5]

New Zealand Thin migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Thin Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. James Thin, (b. 1837), aged 21, Scottish engineer from Scotland travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Zealandia" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 21st September 1858 [6]
  • Mr. William Thin, (b. 1838), aged 21, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Roman Emperor" arriving in Lyttlelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 26th January 1860 [6]


The Thin 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: J'ai bonne cause
Motto Translation: I have good reason.


  1. ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
  2. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
  4. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  5. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  6. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html


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