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Thornbrugh Coat of Arms / Thornbrugh Family Crest

The surname of THORNBRUGH was a locational name 'of Thornbrough' in Northumberland and Thornborough in County Berkshire. The name is also spelt THORNBER, THORNBERRY, THORNBURGH and THORNBORROW. Early records of the name mention Turneberie (without surname) listed in the Domesday Book of 1086. Markerus de Torneberga, 1176 Berkshire. Hugh de Thornburgh, 1327 Yorkshire. Edward Thorneboroughe of County Hampshire, registered at Oxford University in 1575. The Old English word TORN, was undoubtedly brought into England in the wake of the Norman Invasion of 1066, and the earliest of the name recorded is TORN (without surname) who was listed in the Domesday Book of 1066. The name literally meant the dweller at the thorn-bushes, from residence nearby. The first element of THORN was a very common medieval name. The names introduced into Britain by the Normans during the Invasion of 1066 were of three kinds. There were names of Norse origin which their ancestors had carried into Normandy; names of Germanic origin which the Frankish conquerors had brought across the Rhine and which had ousted the old Celtic and Latin names from France, and Biblical names and names of Latin and Greek saints. These names they retained even after the customs and language of the natives of Northern France had been adopted by them. After the Norman Conquest not only Normans, but Frenchmen and Bretons from other parts of France settled in England, and quite a few found their way north into Scotland. During the Middle Ages, when people were unable to read or write, signs were needed for all visual identification. For several centuries city streets in Britain were filled with signs of all kinds, public houses, tradesmen and even private householders found them necessary. This was an age when there were no numbered houses, and an address was a descriptive phrase that made use of a convenient landmark. At this time, coats of arms came into being, for the practical reason that men went into battle heavily armed and were difficult to recognise. It became the custom for them to adorn their helmets with distinctive crests, and to paint their shields with animals and the like. Coats of arms accompanied the development of surnames, becoming hereditary in the same way.

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Last Updated: May 9, 2020

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