Thorn History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Anglo-Saxon name Thorn comes from when the family resided near a thorn bush or hedge. Thorn is a local surname, which belongs to the category of hereditary surnames. Other types of local surnames include topographic surnames, which could be given to a person who lived beside any physical feature, such as a hill, stream, church or type of tree. Habitation names form the other broad category of surnames that were derived from place-names. They were derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. Other local names are derived from the names of houses, manors, estates, regions, and entire counties. The surname Thorn comes from the Old English or Old Norse words which mean thorn. The surname Thorn may also be a habitational surname, for someone who came from a place named with this word, for example Thorne, in Somerset, or Thorns, in Suffolk. The Thorn family's origins date back to the period prior to the Norman Conquest of 1066, to the county of Somerset, where they resided at Thorne-Falcon and Thorne-St. Nargaret.

Early Origins of the Thorn family

The surname Thorn was first found in Somerset at Thorn(e) St. Margaret, a parish, in the union of Wellington, hundred of Milverton, about 3½ miles (W.) from Wellington. [1] The place name dates back to the Domesday Book of 1086 when it was first listed as Torne. [2]

Some of the first records of the name include: Adam atte Thorne; and William de Thorn who were both listed in Kirby's Quest at the time of Edward III. [3] [4] The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 lists the following: Hugh Thorne in Cambridgeshire; and John de Thorn in Devon. [4]

To confuse matters, another noted historian claims "the name is local, from Thornes in the parish of Shenstone, in the county of Stafford, where Robert, son of Roger de la Thorne, was resident early in the fourteenth century." [5] The integrity of this researcher bears no doubt.

However, we wish to have the reader note that this entry is significantly later that the previous entries and as such, in our opinion, is a later branch of the family. Great Thorness is a hamlet on the Isle of Wight, off the south coast of England.

Early History of the Thorn family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Thorn research. Another 136 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1206, 1275, 1296, 1272, 1610, 1397, 1527, 1573, 1568 and 1630 are included under the topic Early Thorn History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Thorn Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Thorn include Thorn, Thorne and others.

Early Notables of the Thorn family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include John Thorne, Abbott of Reading, who was personally starved by King Henry VIII. William Thorne ( fl. 1397), was an English historian, a monk of St. Augustine's, Canterbury and Robert Thorne (d. 1527), was an English merchant and geographical writer, the son...
Another 47 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Thorn Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Thorn family to Ireland

Some of the Thorn family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Thorn migration to the United States +

A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants:

Thorn Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Thorn, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1629 [6]
  • Ann Thorn, who arrived in Maryland in 1653-1654 [6]
Thorn Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Joseph Thorn, who settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1712
  • Peter Thorn, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1769 [6]
  • Samuel Thorn, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1773 [6]
  • Samuel Thorn, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1773
  • Sydinham Thorn, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1774 [6]
Thorn Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James D Thorn, who landed in Charleston, South Carolina in 1827 [6]
  • Frost Thorn, aged 34, who landed in Texas in 1829 [6]
  • Edward Thorn, who arrived in New York in 1832 [6]
  • James Thorn, who arrived in New York in 1832 [6]
  • John S Thorn, who arrived in Texas in 1835 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Thorn migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Thorn Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Robert Thorn U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784 [7]
  • Mr. Samuel Thorn U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784 [7]
  • Mr. Joseph Thorn U.E., (Thorne) born in New York, USA who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784 [7]
  • Mr. Melancthon Thorn U.E., (Melanthon, Thorne) (b. 1758) born in Glen Cove, Long Island, New York, USA who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784 married to Hannah Butler in 1779 having 1 child, he died in 1842 [7]
  • Mr. William Thorn U.E., (Thorne) born in New York, USA who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784 [7]
Thorn Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Nicholas Thorn, who arrived in Canada in 1841

Australia Thorn migration to Australia +

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

Thorn Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • John Thorn, a shoemaker, who arrived in New South Wales, Australia sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • William Thorn, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Bolton" in 1848 [8]
  • Joseph Thorn, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Gipsy Queen" in 1850 [9]
  • Louisa Thorn, aged 17, a domestic servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1859 aboard the ship "James Jardine"

New Zealand Thorn 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:

Thorn Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Amelia Thorn, aged 16, a servant, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bombay" in 1842
  • John Thorn, aged 14, a labourer, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bombay" in 1842
  • Mr. James Thorn, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Rock City" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 4th June 1855 [10]
  • Mr. William H. Thorn (Thorne), (b. 1846), aged 17, English tanner, from Gloucestershire travelling from London aboard the ship "Sebastopol" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 21st May 1863 [10]
  • Mr. Joseph Thorn, British ploughman travelling from London aboard the ship "Himalaya" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 10th February 1867 [11]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Thorn (post 1700) +

  • William R. Thorn, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Ohio, 1956 [12]
  • William E. Thorn, American politician, Mayor of Cohoes, New York, 1878-82 [12]
  • Stephen Thorn, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Dutchess County, 1835 [12]
  • Sue Thorn, American Democrat politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from West Virginia 1st District, 2012 [12]
  • Stephen Thorn, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Washington County, 1803-04; Member of New York State Senate, 1804-08, 1823-25 (Eastern District 1804-08, 2nd District 1823-25) [12]
  • Solomon P. Thorn, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Ulster County 2nd District, 1899, 1901, 1903 [12]
  • Jill Thorn, American Democrat politician, Mayor of West Linn, Oregon, 1990, 1993-2000; Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Oregon, 2008 [12]
  • James S. Thorn, American politician, Mayor of Troy, New York, 1862-63, 1864-65; Member of New York State Assembly from Rensselaer County 1st District, 1866 [12]
  • James B. Thorn, American Democrat politician, Member of Michigan Democratic State Central Committee, 1899 [12]
  • James Thorn, American politician, Member of Nebraska State House of Representatives, 1866 [12]
  • ... (Another 22 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. Alfred Richard Thorn, English First Waiter from Liverpool, England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [13]


  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  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. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
  6. ^ 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)
  7. ^ 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
  8. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) BOLTON 1848. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1848Bolton.htm
  9. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) GIPSY QUEEN 1850. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1850GipsyQueen.htm
  10. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  11. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  12. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, August 18) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  13. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 7) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/


Houseofnames.com on Facebook
Shipping
Fastest Delivery Possible

Digital Products on Checkout, all other products filled in 1 business day

Money Back
Money Back Guarantee

Yes, all products 100% Guaranteed

Support
BBB A+ Rating

The Best Rating possible

Payment
Secure Online Payment

Entire site uses SSL / Secure Certificate