Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. Their name comes from having lived in the parish of Thornhill in the county of Yorkshire. The surname Tornhil 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 Tornhil 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 Tornhil family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Tornhil research.
Another 123 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1330, 1675 and 1734 are included under the topic Early Tornhil History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Tornhil Spelling Variations
Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Tornhil include Thornhill, Thornhull, Thornall, Thornehill, Thornell and many more.
Early Notables of the Tornhil family (pre 1700)
Another 23 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Tornhil Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Tornhil family to Ireland
Some of the Tornhil 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 Tornhil family to the New World and Oceana
Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Tornhil were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records: 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.
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