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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Thurlow family come from? What is the English Thurlow family crest and coat of arms? When did the Thurlow family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Thurlow family history?

Thurlow is one of the many names that the Normans brought with them when they conquered England in 1066. The Thurlow family lived in Suffolk, at Thurlow which was in turn derived from the Old English word tryohlaw, meaning dweller by the hill.


Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Thurlow, Thurlough, Thurlowe, Thurloe, Thurlo, Thurlows, Thurles and many more.

First found in Suffolk where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Thurlow. Conjecturally, they are descended from Godric, the holder of the King's lands of Great and Little Thurlow at the time of the taking of the Domesday Book in 1086, a census initiated by King William, Duke of Normandy after his conquest of England in 1066. The village at that time consisted of a Church and 33 goats. Today Little Thurlow is a village and civil parish in the St Edmundsbury district and has a population of about 230 as of 2005.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Thurlow research. Another 169 words(12 lines of text) covering the years 1775 and are included under the topic Early Thurlow History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Thurlow Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Thurlow family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 87 words(6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Thurlow name or one of its variants:

Thurlow Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Henry G Thurlow, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1875

Thurlow Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • John Thurlow, aged 21, arrived in South Australia in 1851 aboard the ship "Osceola"


  • Stephen Charles "Steve" Thurlow (b. 1942), former American NFL football running back who played from 1964 to 1968
  • Clifford Thurlow (b. 1952), English journalist, described by some as "one of the UK's best ghostwriters"
  • Thomas Thurlow (1813-1899), renowned English sculptor, known for his many works in churches in the Saxmundham, Suffolk area
  • Edward Thurlow (1731-1806), 1st Baron Thurlow, English politician, Lord Chancellor of Great Britain for fourteen years, eponym of the West and East Thurlow Islands, British Columbia, so named by Captain George Vancouver
  • Thomas Thurlow (1737-1791), English bishop, Bishop of Lincoln (1779-1787) and Bishop of Durham (1787-1791)
  • The Very Rev Alfred Gilbert Goddard Thurlow (1911-1991), Anglican dean and author, Dean of Gloucester (1972-1982)
  • Alec Thurlow, English football goalkeeper who played from 1946 to 1949 for Manchester City
  • Very Rev. Alfred Gilbert Goddard Thurlow, Dean of Gloucester
  • Hugh Motley "Pud" Thurlow (1903-1975), Australian cricketer
  • Hugh Motley "Pud" Thurlow (1903-1975), Australian cricketer who played in one Test in 1932



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: Justitiae soror fides
Motto Translation: Fidelity is the sister of justice.


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  1. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  2. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  3. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  5. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  6. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  7. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  8. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  9. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  10. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  11. ...

The Thurlow Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Thurlow 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 20 June 2014 at 08:28.

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