Thorley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

Thorley is a name that was brought to England by the ancestors of the Thorley family when they migrated to the region after the Norman Conquest in 1066. The Thorley family lived in Hertfordshire, at Thorley.

Early Origins of the Thorley family

The surname Thorley was first found in Hertfordshire where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Thorley at the time of the taking of the Domesday Book Census in 1086, a census initiated by King William, Duke of Normandy after his conquest of England in 1066 A.D. In 1086, Thorley consisted of a Mill and a village and was held by Rodhere from the Bishop of London who was the tenant in chief. Conjecturally, the Thorleys are descended from this Norman noble.

Important Dates for the Thorley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Thorley research. Another 71 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1530, 1560, 1506, 1570, 1686 and 1753 are included under the topic Early Thorley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Thorley Spelling Variations

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence in the eras before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate regularly changed the spellings of their names as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Thorley have been found, including Thorley, Thorleigh, Thawley, Thurley, Thurlby, Thurleigh and many more.

Early Notables of the Thorley family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Thomas Thirlby or Thirleby (1506?-1570), the first and only bishop of Westminster, and afterwards successively bishop of Norwich and Ely...
Another 27 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Thorley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Thorley migration to the United States

For many English families, the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. For such families, the shores of Ireland, Australia, and the New World beckoned. They left their homeland at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. Many arrived after the long voyage sick, starving, and without a penny. But even those were greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. Numerous English settlers who arrived in the United States and Canada at this time went on to make important contributions to the developing cultures of those countries. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Thorley were among those contributors:

Thorley Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • James Thorley who settled in Virginia in 1622
  • James Thorley, who landed in Virginia in 1622 [1]
Thorley Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Jane Thorley, who landed in America in 1766

Thorley migration to Australia

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

Thorley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

Contemporary Notables of the name Thorley (post 1700)

  • Harry G. Thorley (b. 1897), American Republican politician, Rancher; Chair of Keya Paha County Republican Party, 1940 [3]
  • Wilfrid Thorley (1878-1963), English poet and translator
  • Dianne "Di" Thorley (b. 1949), Australian politician and the current mayor of Toowoomba, Queensland
  • Sir Gerald Bowers Thorley, Chairman, Allied Breweries Ltd., Norfolk
  • Charles Graham Thorley, Secretary, Ministry of Technology and DTI, Dorset

Historic Events for the Thorley family

HMS Repulse
  • Mr. Frederick Thorley, British Ordinary Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [4]
RMS Titanic
  • Mr. Jonathon Thorley, aged 15, English Lamp Trimmer from Brighton, Sussex who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping on life boat 13 [5]

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  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. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 17) Adelaide voyage to Van Diemen's Land and Port Phillip, Australia in 1849 with 303 passengers. Retrieved from
  3. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, August 18) . Retrieved from
  4. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from
  5. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from
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