Thorne History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

In ancient Anglo-Saxon England, the ancestors of the Thorne surname lived near a thorn bush or hedge. Thorne 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 Thorne comes from the Old English or Old Norse words which mean thorn. The surname Thorne 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 Thorne 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 Thorne family

The surname Thorne 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 Thorne family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Thorne 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 Thorne History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Thorne 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 Thorne 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 Thorne include: Thorn, Thorne and others.

Early Notables of the Thorne 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 Thorne Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Thorne family to Ireland

Some of the Thorne 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 Thorne migration to the United States +

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 Thorne or a variant listed above:

Thorne Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Henry Thorne, who settled in Virginia in 1622
  • Henry Thorne, who arrived in Virginia in 1623 [6]
  • Peter Thorne, who settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1635
  • Thomas Thorne, who settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Arthur Thorne, aged 33, who landed in Bermuda in 1635 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Thorne Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Eliza Thorne, who landed in Virginia in 1701 [6]
  • Katherine Thorne, who landed in Virginia in 1704 [6]
  • Philip Thorne, who landed in Virginia in 1713 [6]
  • Margaret Thorne, who arrived in New England in 1718 [6]
Thorne Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James Thorne, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850 [6]
  • C R Thorne, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [6]
  • Ford Thorne, who arrived in Arkansas in 1878 [6]

Canada Thorne migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Thorne Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • William Thorne, who settled in St. John's Newfoundland in 1762 [7]
  • Mr. Joseph Thorne U.E. born in New Jersey, USA who settled in Bell Vue, Beaver Harbor, Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1783 [8]
  • Mrs. Martha Thorne U.E. who settled in New Brunswick c. 1784 [8]
  • Mr. Robert Thorne U.E. born in Dutchess County, New York, USA who settled in Gagetown, Queens County, New Brunswick c. 1784 [8]
  • Mr. Stephen Thorne U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Thorne Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Jane Thorne, aged 28, a servant, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the ship "Branches" from London, England
  • Sarah Thorne, aged 24, a servant, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the ship "Branches" from London, England
  • Miss. Isabella Thorne who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Sir Robert Peel" departing from the port of Liverpool, England but died on Grosse Isle in 1847 [9]

Australia Thorne migration to Australia +

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

Thorne Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Francis Thorne, English convict from Nottingham, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on April 1st, 1822, settling in New South Wales, Australia [10]
  • John Frank Thorne a seaman, who arrived in Kangaroo Island aboard the ship "Rapid" in 1836 [11]
  • Anna Thorne, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Constant" in 1849 [12]
  • William Thorne, aged 31, who arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Surge" [13]
  • Charles Thorne, aged 27, who arrived in South Australia in 1853 aboard the ship "Magdalena" [14]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Thorne 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:

Thorne Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • William Thorne, who landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1840
  • Mr. Edward Thorne, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Kingston" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 29th December 1858 [15]
  • Miss Thorne, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Kingston" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 29th December 1858 [15]
  • James Thorne, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Nimroud" in 1860
  • Mr. Ludwic Thorne, (b. 1831), aged 30, British farm labourer travelling from Bristol aboard the ship "Matoaka" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 10th February 1862 [15]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Thorne (post 1700) +

  • William Harry Thorne (1902-1966), American Democrat politician, Member of Michigan State House of Representatives, 1959-66 (Wayne County 19th District 1959-64, 32nd District 1965-66) [16]
  • W. E. Thorne, American politician, Member of Nebraska State Senate, 1907 [16]
  • T. T. Thorne (b. 1867), American Democrat politician, Member of North Carolina State Senate, 1907-08, 1911-14 (7th District 1907-08, 1911-12, 6th District 1913-14) [16]
  • Shelton A. Thorne, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Florida, 1972; Presidential Elector for Florida, 1972 [16]
  • Richard V. W. Thorne, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Kings County, 1837 [16]
  • Samuel M. Thorne, American politician, Member of New Jersey State House of Assembly from Camden County, 1858-59 [16]
  • Richard Thorne, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Queens County, 1786-87 [16]
  • Ralph W. Thorne, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1936 (alternate), 1940 [16]
  • Oakleigh Thorne Sr., American Republican politician, Presidential Elector for New York, 1952; Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from New York, 1956 [16]
  • Julius C. Thorne, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Oneida County 3rd District, 1853 [16]
  • ... (Another 28 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Dorsetshire
  • Herbert Vincent Thorne (d. 1945), British Steward aboard the HMS Dorsetshire when she was struck by air bombers and sunk; he died in the sinking [17]
  • Charles Wallace Thorne, British Sick Berth Assistant aboard the HMS Dorsetshire when she was struck by air bombers and sunk; he survived the sinking [17]
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. Francis Thorne, British Able Bodied Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [18]
HMS Royal Oak
  • Leonard Frank Thorne (1922-1939), British Boy 1st Class with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [19]
RMS Titanic
  • Mr. Harry Johnson Thorne (d. 1912), aged 25, English Assistant Ship's Cook from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [20]
  • Miss Gertrude Maybelle Thorne, aged 38, American First Class passenger from New York City, New York who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping in life boat D [20]


  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. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  8. ^ 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
  9. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 58)
  10. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1822 with 190 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1822
  11. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) RAPID 1836. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1836Rapid.htm
  12. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The CONSTANT 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Constant.htm
  13. ^ South Australian Register Tuesday 3 February 1852. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) SURGE 1852. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/surge1852.shtml
  14. ^ South Australian Register Friday 26th August 1853. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Magdalena 1853. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/magdalena1853.shtml
  15. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  16. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, August 18) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  17. ^ Force Z Survivors HMS Dorsetshire Crew List, (Retrieved 2018, February 13th), https://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listdorsetshirecrew.html
  18. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html
  19. ^ 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
  20. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html


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