Show ContentsThoburn History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient Anglo-Saxon surname Thoburn came from the baptismal name for the son of Thurburn. This ancient personal name was originally derived from the name of the Saxon God of Thunder, Thor. After the Norman Conquest, the Old English naming system gradually dissolved. Old English names became less common and were replaced by popular continental European names. The earliest surnames in England were found shortly after the Norman Conquest and are of Norman French rather than native English origins.

Early Origins of the Thoburn family

The surname Thoburn was first found in Norfolk where Thomas filius Thurbernus (Turberni) was listed 1153-1186. A few years later, Richard Turbern was listed in the Feet of Fines in 1198 and later, Richard Thurubern was listed at Ely in Norfolk in 1277. The name may have been listed in the Domesday Book as Thurbernus, Turbern and Torbern, [1] but it from the Norfolk branch that seems the most prevalent in these early years. Spellings widely varied as we found: Thurbarnus filius Ailiue in the Feet of Fines for Suffolk in 1197; Richard Turbern in the Feet of Fines for Norfolk in 1198; William Thurbern in the Assize Rolls for Warwickshire in 1221; and Richard Thurubern at Ely, Norfolk in 1277. [1]

In Sussex, the name claims descendancy from Thunder (Thor) or Thunder's Hill at Chittingly. Thor was the name of the ancient Saxon God of Thunder.

As to underscore the wide use on the name by the 13th century, the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 included: William Thorebern, Oxfordshire; Richard Thorbarn, Oxfordshire; Dominus Thurbern, Suffolk; and Nicholas Thurbern, Wiltshire. [2] In Somerset, Philip Thorbarn was listed there 1 Edward III (during the first year of the reign of King Edward III.) [3]

Early History of the Thoburn family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Thoburn research. Another 49 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1197, 1273, 1327, 1607, 1688, 1656 and 1659 are included under the topic Early Thoburn History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Thoburn Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore,spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Thoburn has been recorded under many different variations, including Thorburn, Thurburn, Thurbrand, Torburn and others.

Early Notables of the Thoburn family (pre 1700)

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

United States Thoburn migration to the United States +

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Thoburn or a variant listed above:

Thoburn Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Daniel P Thoburn, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1833 [4]
  • Samuel Thoburn, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1833 [4]

Australia Thoburn migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Thoburn Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Samuel Thoburn, Scottish convict who was convicted in Glasgow, Scotland for 10 years, transported aboard the "Barossa" on 8th December 1839, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [5]

Contemporary Notables of the name Thoburn (post 1700) +

  • Mr. Guy Allan Hadley Thoburn M.B.E., British Major for Intelligence Corps, recipient of Member of the Order of the British Empire on 8th June 2018 [6]
  • Brigadier-General Thoburn Kaye Brown (1888-1958), American Professor of Military Science & Tactics, University of Arizona (1946-1948) [7]

  1. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  4. 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)
  5. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 24th September 2020). Retrieved from
  6. "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62507, 28 December 2018 | London Gazette, The Gazette, Dec. 2018,
  7. Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2011, November 3) Thoburn Brown. Retrieved from on Facebook