Thornberg History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
In ancient Anglo-Saxon England, the ancestors of the Thornberg surname lived in Thornborough found in the counties of Buckinghamshire and North Yorkshire. Thornberg is a topographic surname, which was given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a hill, stream, church, or type of tree. During the Middle Ages, as society became more complex, individuals needed a way to be distinguishable from others. Toponymic surnames were developed as a result of this need. Various features in the landscape or area were used to distinguish people from one another. In this case the surname was originally derived from the Old English thorn broc which means that the original bearers of the surname Thornberg were named due to their close proximity to the stream by the thorns.
Early Origins of the Thornberg family
The surname Thornberg was first found in Cumberland where they held a family seat at Selsheyd (now known as Selside.) This chapelry, in the parish, union, and ward of Kendal is now in the county of Westmorland. "The chapel, dedicated to St. Thomas, was erected in lieu of a more ancient edifice, about 1720, by the inhabitants, on a site given by William Thornburgh, Esq.; and was rebuilt on an enlarged scale in 1837, at an expense of about £600." 
Early History of the Thornberg family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Thornberg research. Another 63 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1313, 1391, 1394, 1401, 1414, 1401, 1404, 1416, 1419, 1563, 1593, 1551, 1641, 1593, 1603, 1617, 1588 and 1603 are included under the topic Early Thornberg History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Thornberg Spelling Variations
It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Thornberg are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Thornberg include: Thornborough, Thornbury, Thornberry, Thornborrowe, Thornbery, Thornburgh and many more.
Early Notables of the Thornberg family (pre 1700)
Notables of this surname at this time include: Sir John Thornbury; and Walter de Thornbury (died 1313), an English-born statesman and cleric probably born in Herefordshire who held the office of Lord Chancellor of Ireland.
William Thornburgh was Member of Parliament for Westmorland in 1391, 1394, 1401 and 1414. Roland Thornburgh was Member of Parliament for Westmorland in 1401, 1404, 1416 and 1419. Edward Thornborough (born c.1563) was an English politician, Member...
Another 72 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Thornberg Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Thornberg family
Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Thornberg or a variant listed above: Widow Thornbrugh who settled in Barbados in 1680 with three children and servants; George Thornburgh settled in Barbados with his servants in 1680; James and Mary Thornbury settled in New England in 1805.
Contemporary Notables of the name Thornberg (post 1700) +
- Joseph S. Thornberg, American politician, Prohibition Candidate for Presidential Elector for West Virginia, 1928 
- Claudia Thornberg, American Republican politician, Chair of Randolph County Republican Party, 2011 
- Betty Thornberg (1921-2007), birth name of Betty Hutton, American stage, film, and television actress, comedienne and singer
Related Stories +
The Thornberg 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: Spectemur agendo
Motto Translation: Let us be judged by our acts
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, August 18) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html