Anglo-Saxon name. It comes from when a family lived in the parish of Thornhill in the county of Yorkshire. The surname Thornhile is a habitation name that was originally derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. The surname originated as a means of identifying individuals from a particular area. In the Middle Ages people often assumed the name of the place that they originally lived as their surname during the course of travel. As a general rule, the greater the distance between an individual and their homeland, the larger the territory they were named after. For example, a person who only moved to another parish would be known by the name of their original village, while people who migrated to a different country were often known by the name of a region or country from which they came.
Early Origins of the Thornhile family
Yorkshire at Thornhill where they trace their descent from "Gerneber, a noble Saxon who possessed large tracts of land before the Conquest in 1066. " CITATION[CLOSE]
Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print. "This place was the seat of the Thornhill family, for many generations proprietors of the manor. " CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print. Fixby in the West Riding of Yorkshire was another ancient family seat. "This place, called in Domesday Book Feslei, was at an early period the property of a family to whom it gave name; it afterwards passed to the Toothills, and from them, by marriage, to the ancient family of Thornhill, of whom mention occurs in 1577 as holding lands of Queen Elizabeth in Fekisby, as of her demesne of Wakefield." CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print. ". In the 15th of Edward II., John de Thornhill held the manor [of Foulridge, Lancashire]; and by marriage with his daughter, Sir Henry Saville became possessed of the property in 1404." CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
Early History of the Thornhile family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Thornhile research.
Another 123 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1330, 1675 and 1734 are included under the topic Early Thornhile History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Thornhile Spelling Variations
Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Thornhile were recorded, including Thornhill, Thornhull, Thornall, Thornehill, Thornell and many more.
Early Notables of the Thornhile family (pre 1700)
Another 23 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Thornhile Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Thornhile family to Ireland
Some of the Thornhile family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 45 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Thornhile family to the New World and Oceana
To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Thornhile family emigrate to North America: Nancy Thornhill settled in Fortune, Newfoundland, in 1817; William Thornall settled in Brunett Island Newfoundland in 1829; Ben Thornhill settled in New England in 1771.
Thornhile Family Crest Products