Thornhill History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The name Thornhill has a long Anglo-Saxon heritage. The name comes from when a family lived in the parish of Thornhill in the county of Yorkshire. The surname Thornhill 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 Thornhill family
The surname Thornhill was first found in Yorkshire at Thornhill where they trace their descent from "Gerneber, a noble Saxon who possessed large tracts of land before the Conquest in 1066. " 
"This place was the seat of the Thornhill family, for many generations proprietors of the manor. "  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." 
"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." 
Early History of the Thornhill family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Thornhill research. Another 62 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1330, 1675, 1734, 1500, 1557 and 1529 are included under the topic Early Thornhill History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Thornhill Spelling Variations
Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Thornhill have been found, including Thornhill, Thornhull, Thornall, Thornehill, Thornell and many more.
Early Notables of the Thornhill family (pre 1700)
Notables of this surname at this time include: Sir Brian Thornhill of Thornhill; and Sir James Thornhill (1675-1734), an English painter of historical subjects, born at Melcombe Regis, Dorset, son of Walter Thornhill of Wareham, the eighth son of George Thornhill (or Thornhull)...
Another 42 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Thornhill Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Thornhill family to Ireland
Some of the Thornhill 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.
Thornhill migration to the United States +
Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name Thornhill, or a variant listed above:
Thornhill Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- Robert Thornhill, who landed in Maryland in 1674 
- Tymothy Thornhill, who settled in Barbados in 1680
Thornhill Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- William Thornhill, who arrived in Virginia in 1714 
- Ben Thornhill, who settled in New England in 1771
Thornhill Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- George Thornhill, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1842 
Thornhill migration to Canada +
Some of the first settlers of this family name were:
Thornhill Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
- Mr. Peter Thornhill U.E. who arrived at Port Roseway, [Shelburne], Nova Scotia on October 26, 1783 was passenger number 194 aboard the ship "HMS Clinton", picked up on September 28, 1783 at Staten Island, New York, USA 
Thornhill Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
- Nancy Thornhill, who settled in Fortune, Newfoundland, in 1817 
Thornhill migration to Australia +
Emigration to Australia
followed the First Fleets
of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:
Thornhill Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
- George K. Thornhill, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Constance" in 1849 
- Ellen Thornhill, aged 18, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Prince Regent" in 1851 
- Ellen Thornhill, aged 18, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1851 aboard the ship "Prince Regent" 
Thornhill 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:
Thornhill Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
- Mr. William Thornhill, (b. 1834), aged 30, British farm labourer travelling from Gravesend, UK aboard the ship "British Empire" arriving in Lyttelton, South Island, New Zealand on 6th September 1864 
Contemporary Notables of the name Thornhill (post 1700) +
- Juliana Thornhill (d. 2015), Brazilian-born, American actress, known for American Genius
- Warren A. Thornhill Jr., American Democrat politician, Member of West Virginia State House of Delegates from Raleigh County, 1931-32; Candidate for West Virginia State Senate 9th District, 1946 
- Samuel S. Thornhill, American Democrat politician, Candidate for Connecticut State House of Representatives from Brookfield, 1914 
- W. H. Thornhill, American politician, Mayor of Xenia, Ohio, 1953 
- Samuel Thornhill (1834-1890), American politician, Member of Connecticut State House of Representatives from Brookfield, 1882 
- R. F. Thornhill, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Virginia, 1940 
- Lucille W. Thornhill (b. 1917), American Democrat politician, Member of West Virginia State House of Delegates from Mercer County, 1965-66, 1969-70 
- L. T. Thornhill, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from West Virginia, 1944 
- John Skidmore Thornhill (1864-1946), American Republican politician, First selectman of Brookfield, Connecticut, 1904-07, 1910-15, 1919-21, 1924; Member of Connecticut State House of Representatives from Brookfield, 1923-38 Member of Connecticut State Senate 24th District, 1939-40 
- James W. Thornhill, American Republican politician, Candidate for West Virginia State House of Delegates from Kanawha County, 1966 
- ... (Another 22 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Historic Events for the Thornhill family +
- Mr. James Thornhill, British Electrical Artificer 4th Class, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and died in the sinking 
Related Stories +
Suggested Readings for the name Thornhill +
- 4517 "Thornhill: Genealogy and Family History" by Naomi Ruth Jackson, "Thornell, Planter, Woodbridge, New Jersey and His Descendants" by Jay W. Thornall.
- ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ 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)
- ^ 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
- ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
- ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) CONSTANCE 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Constance.htm
- ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) PRINCE REGENT 1851. Retrieved http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1851PrinceRegent.htm
- ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
- ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, August 18) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
- ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html