The surname of THOW was derived from the Old English word 'PEOW' a name given to one who was bonded to another. The name was originally brought into England in the wake of the Norman Invasion of 1066. It is also spelt THOU. Early records of the name mention Gilbert Thew who was documented in the year 1190 in County Yorkshire. William Thewe, ibid.
Johanna Thow was recorded in County Lancashire in the year of 1348.
A notable member of the name was Jacques Auguste de THOU (Latinized Thuanus) who was born in 1553. He was the French Historian and statesman of Paris, from a great legal family. He was intended for the church, but turned to law, became president of the PARLEMENT of Paris, and was a distinguished diplomat under Henri 111 and Henry 1V. At his death in 1617 he left commentaries on his own life and some Latin verse.
Prior to the Invasion of William the Conqueror in 1066, no one had surnames, only christian or nicknames in England. Based on this, and our physical attributes, we were given surnames incorporating tax codes to show trades, areas in which we lived, as today we have street names and numbers. Surnames were used in France and like speaking countries from about the year 1000, and a few places had second names even earlier. Even early monarchs had additions to show attributes and character, for example Ethelred (red-hair) the Unready (never prepared) and Edward 1. was named 'Long shanks' because of his long legs.
The name has many variant spellings which include Thew, Thewes and Thows.
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