An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
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.
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.
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.  The place name dates back to the Domesday Book of 1086 when it was first listed as Torne.  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.  The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 lists the following: Hugh Thorne in Cambridgeshire; and John de Thorn in Devon.  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."  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.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Thorne research. Another 271 words (19 lines of text) covering the years 1206, 1275, 1296, 1272 and 1610 are included under the topic Early Thorne History in all our PDF Extended History products.
Another 25 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Thorne Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
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.
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
Thorne Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
Thorne Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Thorne Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
Thorne Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
Thorne Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
Thorne Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
The Thorne Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Thorne Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.
This page was last modified on 25 March 2016 at 16:25.