Show ContentsThorby History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Thorby family

The surname Thorby was first found in Cumberland, the name derives from Gospatrick, Lord of Thoresby, from whom was descended Thomas Thoresby of Braithwaite in Cumberland. The village named Thursby is still there today and dates back to 1165 when it was recorded as Thoresby. The name is generally thought to have been derived from the personal name Thorir, and in the case of the village, would have meant "farmstead or village of a man called Thorir."[1]

Alternatively, the name could have been derived from "North and South Thoresby, parishes in Lincolnshire. The family claim Saxon origin, being derived from Gospatrick, lord of Thoresby, who was living at the time of the Conquest. " [2]

John Thoresby (d. 1373), was Archbishop of York and Chancellor, the son of Hugh de Thoresby of Thoresby in Wensleydale, Yorkshire. "He seems to have been educated at Oxford, and as early as 15 Oct. 1320, when an acolyte, was presented to the living of Bramwith, Yorkshire, by Thomas, Earl of Lancaster. " [3]

Early History of the Thorby family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Thorby research. Another 70 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1658 and 1725 are included under the topic Early Thorby History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Thorby Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Thorsby, Thoresby Thorisbye, Thursby and others.

Early Notables of the Thorby family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was Ralph Thoresby (1658-1725), an English antiquary and topographer, the son of John Thoresby by his wife Ruth, daughter of Ralph Idle of Bulmer in the West Riding of Yorkshire. "His father was a Leeds wool and cloth merchant in good circumstances, who had served in the parliamentarian army under...
Another 56 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Thorby Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

New Zealand Thorby 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:

Thorby Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Ezek Thorby, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1841 aboard the ship Lady Nugent
  • Ezekiel Thorby, aged 30, a carpenter, who arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Lady Nugent" in 1841
  • Mary Ann Thorby, aged 27, who arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Lady Nugent" in 1841
  • Elizabeth Thorby, aged 10, who arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Lady Nugent" in 1841
  • E. Thorby, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Lady Nugent" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 17th March 1841 [4]

  1. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  4. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from on Facebook