Show ContentsThurlow History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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.

Early Origins of the Thurlow family

The surname Thurlow was 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.

One of the first records of the family was John de Thorlow, Throwklow or Trokelowe (fl. 1330), an early English chronicler and monk of St. Albans. A monk of that name was also in the priory of Tynemouth, Northumberland. 1

Early History of the Thurlow family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Thurlow research. Another 85 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1616, 1668, 1775 and 1890 are included under the topic Early Thurlow History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Thurlow Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the Thurlow family

Another 29 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Thurlow Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Thurlow Ranking

In the United States, the name Thurlow is the 10,969th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. 2

Ireland Migration of the Thurlow family to Ireland

Some of the Thurlow family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 50 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Thurlow migration to the United States +

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 3

Australia Thurlow migration to Australia +

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

Thurlow Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • John Thurlow, aged 21, who arrived in South Australia in 1851 aboard the ship "Osceola" 4

Contemporary Notables of the name Thurlow (post 1700) +

  • Stephen Charles "Steve" Thurlow (b. 1942), former American NFL football running back who played from 1964 to 1968
  • Alec Thurlow, English football goalkeeper who played from 1946 to 1949 for Manchester City
  • The Very Rev Alfred Gilbert Goddard Thurlow (1911-1991), Anglican dean and author, Dean of Gloucester (1972-1982)
  • Thomas Thurlow (1737-1791), English bishop, Bishop of Lincoln (1779-1787) and Bishop of Durham (1787-1791)
  • Clifford Thurlow (b. 1952), English journalist, described by some as "one of the UK's best ghostwriters"
  • 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 (1813-1899), renowned English sculptor, known for his many works in churches in the Saxmundham, Suffolk area
  • Arthur Louis Thurlow OC QC (1913-2020), Canadian politician and jurist, member of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly from 1949 to 1953
  • Mr. Ross David Thurlow O.B.E., British Colonel for the Royal Army, was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire on 29th December 2018 5
  • Gillian Thurlow, New Zealand former association football player who played for the New Zealand National Team in 1994
  • ... (Another 4 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

The Thurlow Motto +

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.

  1. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  2. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  3. 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)
  4. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) OSCEOLA / ASCEOLA 1851. Retrieved
  5. "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62507, 28 December 2018 | London Gazette, The Gazette, Dec. 2018, on Facebook