Thomas History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The roots of the surname Thomas lie in the rugged landscape of Wales. Thomas was a popular Medieval given throughout Europe, coming from the popular biblical name. It is ultimately derived from the Aramaic personal name meaning "twin." Prior to the Norman Conquest, this name was rarely found, but by the 13th and 14th centuries, it became extremely common in Britain.

Early Origins of the Thomas family

The surname Thomas was first found in Breconshire (Welsh: Sir Frycheiniog), a traditional county in southern Wales, which takes its name from the Welsh kingdom of Brycheiniog (5th-10th centuries), where the family claims descendance from Owen Glendower, Lord of Glyndwyrdwy, Prince of South Wales.

Early History of the Thomas family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Thomas research. Another 97 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1613, 1689, 1665, 1683, 1677, 1683, 1683, 1689, 1633, 1677, 1654, 1656 and are included under the topic Early Thomas History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Thomas Spelling Variations

Welsh surnames are relatively few in number, but they have an inordinately large number of spelling variations. There are many factors that explain the preponderance of Welsh variants, but the earliest is found during the Middle Ages when Welsh surnames came into use. Scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, which often resulted in a single person's name being inconsistently recorded over his lifetime. The transliteration of Welsh names into English also accounts for many of the spelling variations: the unique Brythonic Celtic language of the Welsh had many sounds the English language was incapable of accurately reproducing. It was also common for members of a same surname to change their names slightly, in order to signify a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations. For all of these reasons, the many spelling variations of particular Welsh names are very important. The surname Thomas has occasionally been spelled Thomas, Tomas, MacThomas, FitzThomas, Thomasett and others.

Early Notables of the Thomas family (pre 1700)

Prominent amongst the family during the late Middle Ages was Sir William Thomas of Folkington; Rt. Rev. William Thomas D.D. (1613-1689), a Welsh Anglican bishop, Dean of Worcester (1665-1683), Bishop of St...
Another 31 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Thomas Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Thomas family to Ireland

Some of the Thomas family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 81 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Thomas migration to the United States +

In the 1800s and 1900s, many Welsh families left for North America, in search of land, work, and freedom. Those who made the trip successfully helped contribute to the growth of industry, commerce, and the cultural heritage of both Canada and the United States. In the immigration and passenger lists were a number of people bearing the name Thomas

Thomas Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Joe, John, Robert, and Nathaniel Thomas, who all, who settled in Virginia in 1621
  • Christopher Thomas, who settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Carsten Thomas, aged 28, who arrived in New Netherland(s) in 1639 [1]
  • Abra Thomas, who arrived in Virginia in 1648 [1]
  • Caleb Thomas, who landed in Maryland in 1651 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Thomas Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Matheus Thomas, who sailed for America in 1709 with his wife and daughters
  • Heinrich Thomas, who settled in America in 1709 settling in Carolina or Pennsylvania
  • Andreas Thomas, who landed in New York, NY in 1710-1714 [1]
  • Alexander Thomas, who settled in Virginia in 1717
  • Edwin Thomas, who settled in Nevis in 1747
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Thomas Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Amyus Thomas, who arrived in New York in 1807 [1]
  • Angus Thomas, aged 45, who landed in New York in 1812 [1]
  • Carl Thomas, who arrived in Texas in 1846 [1]
  • Llewellyn Thomas, who was naturalized in Iowa in 1851
  • A S Thomas, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Thomas Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Austin William Thomas, who landed in Mississippi in 1902 [1]

Canada Thomas migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Thomas Settlers in Canada in the 17th Century
  • Mr. Martin Thomas, French settler travelling to Canada for work arriving on 14th April 1673 [2]
  • Henry Thomas, who settled in Harbour Grace, Newfoundland, in 1685 [3]
Thomas Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. William Thomas U.E. who arrived at Port Roseway, [Shelburne], Nova Scotia on October 26, 1783 was passenger number 193 aboard the ship "HMS Clinton", picked up on September 28, 1783 at Staten Island, New York, USA [4]
  • Mr. Samuel Thomas U.E. who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784 [4]
  • Mr. Samuel Thomas U.E. who settled in Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1784 [4]
  • Mr. Stephen Thomas U.E. who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784 [4]
  • Mr. Thomas Thomas U.E. who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784 he became a Freeman in 1795 was a Boat Builder [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Thomas Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Ann Thomas, who arrived in Canada in 1832
  • Mrs. Thomas, aged 35, a lady, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the brig "Sarah" from Bristol, England
  • Mary Thomas, aged 21, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the schooner "Sarah" from Belfast, Ireland
  • Ester Thomas, aged 19, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the schooner "Sarah" from Belfast, Ireland
  • William Thomas, aged 32, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Cupid" in 1834
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Thomas migration to Australia +

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

Thomas Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Robert Thomas, Irish convict who was convicted in Kerry, Ireland for 7 years, transported aboard the "Atlas" on 29th November 1801, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [5]
  • Mr. John Thomas, (b. 1797), aged 14, Cornish settler convicted in Cornwall, UK on 26th March 1810, sentenced for 14 years, transported aboard the ship "Admiral Gambier" on 1st April 1811 to New South Wales, Australia [6]
  • Mr. John Thomas, English butcher who was convicted in Essex, England for life, transported aboard the "Baring" in April 1815, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [7]
  • Mr. David Thomas, Welsh convict who was convicted in Pembroke, Pembrokeshire, Wales for 7 years, transported aboard the "Atlas" on 16th January 1816, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [5]
  • James Thomas, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Almorah" on April 1817, settling in New South Wales, Australia [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Thomas 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:

Thomas Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Thomas, Australian settler travelling from Hobart, Tasmania, Australia aboard the ship "Bee" arriving in New Zealand in 1833 [9]
  • William Thomas, who landed in Korohiwa, opposite Mana, New Zealand in 1836 aboard the ship Caroline
  • Joseph Thomas, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Adelaide
  • George Thomas, who landed in Doubtless Bay, New Zealand in 1840
  • George Thomas, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Thomas (post 1700) +

  • Kurt Bilteaux Thomas (1956-2020), American multip gold, silver and bronze medalist Olympic gymnast, inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 2003
  • Elliot Griffin Thomas (1926-2019), African-American Catholic prelate who served as the Bishop of the Diocese of Saint Thomas
  • Jay Thomas (1948-2017), stage name of Jon Thomas Terrell, an American Primetime Emmy Award winning actor, comedian, and radio talk show host, known for his roles in Murphy Brown, Cheers, The Santa Clause 2 and The Santa Clause 3 and for his many appearances on The Late Show with David Letterman
  • Lyda Ann Thomas (1936-1937), American politician, Mayor of Galveston, Texas (2004-2010)
  • Rex David "Dave" Thomas (1932-2002), American businessperson and philanthropist, founder and chief executive officer of Wendy's, the fast-food restaurant chain, recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Lowell Thomas Jr. (1923-2016), English-born, American politician and film producer, 3rd Lieutenant Governor of Alaska (1974-1978)
  • Edward Parry Thomas (1921-2016), American banker, credited with the development of the casino industry of Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Joyce Carol Thomas (1938-2016), African-American poet, playwright, motivational speaker and author, perhaps best known for her 1982 novel Marked by Fire, which won a National Book Award and an American Book Award
  • Peter Thomas (1924-2016), American announcer and narrator of television programs, known for his work on The Forensic Files (1996), When Trumpets Fade (1998) and Alaska: Big America (2004)
  • Marvell Thomas (1941-2017), African American keyboardist
  • ... (Another 77 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Air New Zealand Flight 901
  • Mr. Walter Daniel Thomas (1910-1979), New Zealander passenger, from Whangaparoa, New Zealand aboard the Air New Zealand Flight 901 for an Antarctic sightseeing flight when it flew into Mount Erebus; he died in the crash [10]
  • Mr. Roy Pearce Thomas (d. 1979), New Zealander passenger, from Tauranga, North Island, New Zealand aboard the Air New Zealand Flight 901 for an Antarctic sightseeing flight when it flew into Mount Erebus; he died in the crash [10]
Arrow Air Flight 1285
  • Mr. Robert F Thomas (b. 1962), American Specialist 4th Class from Roslyn, New York, USA who died in the crash [11]
  • Mr. Randall Keith Thomas (b. 1954), American Sergeant from Springdale, Arkansas, USA who died in the crash [11]
Bismarck
  • Günter Thomas (1922-1941), German Matrosengefreiter who served aboard the German Battleship Bismarck during World War II when it was sunk heading to France; he died in the sinking [12]
Empress of Ireland
  • Mr. William Thomas, British Assistant Steward from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking [13]
Halifax Explosion
  • Mr. George P.  Thomas (1857-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [14]
  • Mr. William Charles  Thomas (1872-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [14]
  • Mrs. Bertha  Thomas (1881-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who survived the explosion but later died due to injuries [14]
  • Mrs. Martha Lillian  Thomas (1895-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [14]
  • Mr. Clarence S.  Thomas (1896-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [14]
  • ... (Another 3 entries are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Hillcrest Coal Mine
  • Mr. Deo Thomas (1885-1914), American Driver Boss from Washington State, United States who worked in the Hillcrest Coal Mine, Alberta, Canada and died in the mine collapse [15]
HMS Dorsetshire
  • Emlyn Ernest Thomas (1902-1945), British Mechanician aboard the HMS Dorsetshire when she was struck by air bombers and sunk; he died in the sinking [16]
HMS Hood
  • Mr. Harold J Thomas (b. 1918), Welsh Able Seaman serving for the Royal Navy from Bedwellty, Monmouthshire, Wales, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [17]
  • Mr. Francis J Thomas (b. 1897), English Able Seaman serving for the Royal Navy from St Helier, Channel Islands, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [17]
HMS Prince of Wales
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. Joseph Thomas, British Marine, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [19]
  • Mr. Emrys Thomas, British Able Bodied Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [19]
  • Mr. D Thomas, British Able Bodied Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [19]
  • Mr. John Selwyn Thomas, British Ordnance Artificer 4th Class, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and died in the sinking [19]
  • Mr. John Richard Thomas, British Marine, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and died in the sinking [19]
  • ... (Another 6 entries are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
HMS Royal Oak
  • Robert Andrew Thomas (1915-1939), British Marine with the Royal Marine aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [20]
Pan Am Flight 103 (Lockerbie)
  • Arva Anthony Thomas (1971-1988), American Student from Detroit, Michigan, America, who flew aboard the Pan Am Flight 103 from Frankfurt to Detroit, known as the Lockerbie bombing in 1988 and died [21]
  • Jonathan Ryan Thomas (1988-1988), American Passenger from Southfield, Michigan, America, who flew aboard the Pan Am Flight 103 from Frankfurt to Detroit, known as the Lockerbie bombing in 1988 and died [21]
  • Lawanda Thomas (1967-1988), American Air Force Sergeant from Southfield, Michigan, America, who flew aboard the Pan Am Flight 103 from Frankfurt to Detroit, known as the Lockerbie bombing in 1988 and died [21]
RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. David Alfred Thomas, Welsh 1st Class Passenger from Cardiff, Wales, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking by escaping in life boat 11 [22]
  • Mr. John Thomas, English Second Waiter from England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking [22]
  • Mr. William Stanford Thomas, English 2nd Class Cabin Bed Steward from Walton, Liverpool, England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking and was recovered [22]
  • Mr. George Henry Thomas, English Assistant Officers' Mess Steward from Liverpool, England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [22]
  • Mr. Ernest Thomas, Canadian 2nd Class passenger from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking and was recovered [23]
  • ... (Another 1 entries are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
RMS Titanic
  • Mr. Joseph Wakefield Thomas (d. 1912), aged 25, English Fireman/Stoker from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [24]
  • Mr. John Thomas (d. 1912), aged 34, Unknown Third Class passenger from Unknown who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [24]
  • Mr. Tannous John Thomas (d. 1912), aged 16, Lebanese Third Class passenger from Unknown who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [24]
SS Alcoa Puritan
  • J.W. Thomas, American First Assistant Engineer from Portland, Oregon, who was working aboard the SS Alcoa Puritan traveling from Port of Spain, Trinidad to Mobile, Alabama when it was torpedoed by U-boat U-507; he survived the sinking [25]
USS Arizona
  • Mr. Stanley Horace Thomas, American Fireman Third Class working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [26]
  • Mr. Vincent Duron Thomas, American Coxswain from California, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [26]
  • Mr. Houston O'Neal Thomas, American Coxswain from Texas, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [26]
  • Mr. Randall James Thomas, American Seaman First Class from West Virginia, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [26]


The Thomas 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: I dduw bo'r diolch
Motto Translation: To God be thanks.


Suggested Readings for the name Thomas +

  • 12 Ancestors and Kin... by Robert Walden Coggeshall, The Descendants of William Thomas by Francis Marion Ammon, Thomas Ancestors: A History of a Thomas Family by Mark Everett Thomas.

  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ Debien, Gabriel. Liste Des Engagés Pour Le Canada Au XVIIe Siècle. Vol. 6, Laval University, 1952. (Retreived 24th May 2018). Retrieved from https://lebloguedeguyperron.wordpress.com/2016/06/30/130-liste-des-contrats-dengagement-pour-la-nouvelle-france-releves-a-la-rochelle-entre-1634-et-1679/
  3. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  4. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  5. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 14th July 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/atlas
  6. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 30th May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_australia_convicts.pdf
  7. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 16th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/baring
  8. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Almorah voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1817 with 180 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/almorah/1817
  9. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  10. ^ Mount Erebus, Memorial, Roll of Remembrance (Retrieved 2018, February 21st). Retrieved from http://www.erebus.co.nz/memorialandawards/rollofremembrance.aspx
  11. ^ American War Memorials - Flight 1285. (Retrieved 2016, August 24) . Retrieved from http://www.uswarmemorials.org/html/monument_details.php?SiteID=317&MemID=550
  12. ^ Bismarck & Tirpitz Class - Crew List Bismarck. (Retrieved 2018, February 06). Retrieved from https://www.bismarck-class.dk/bismarck/crew/bismarck_crew.html#crew_details
  13. ^ Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 17) . Retrieved from http://www.empress2014.ca/seclangen/listepsc1.html
  14. ^ Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/what-see-do/halifax-explosion/halifax-explosion-book-remembrance
  15. ^ List Of Miners - Hillcrest Mine Disaster Data. (Retrieved 2014, June 24) . Retrieved from http://www.hillcrestminedisaster.com/data/index.php?title=List_Of_Miners
  16. ^ Force Z Survivors HMS Dorsetshire Crew List, (Retrieved 2018, February 13th), https://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listdorsetshirecrew.html
  17. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
  18. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  19. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html
  20. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html
  21. ^ Pan Am Flight 103's victims: A list of those killed 25 years ago | syracuse.com. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2013/12/pan_am_flight_103s_victims_a_list_of_those_killed_25_years_ago.html
  22. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 7) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/
  23. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 6) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/
  24. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html
  25. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Alcoa_Puritan_(1941) - (Retrieved 2018, February 8th)
  26. ^ Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from http://pearl-harbor.com/arizona/casualtylist.html


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