This surname of DORN was an English, Dutch, German and Polish occupational name for someone who lived by a thorn-bush or hedge. It was also a habitation name from a place named with this word. It was also in Germany a name applied to one who lived near a tower, or perhaps from the city of THORN (now Torun) in Poland. The name has many variant spellings which include THORNE, THORNER, DORNER, DOORNE and VAN DEN DOORNE. TORNE (without surname) was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086, appears to be the first of the name on record. THORN (without surname) appears in Somerset in the year 1100, and Thornfagun (without surname) was documented in the year 1268. Other records of the name mention Hugh Thorne, 1273 County Devon and John de Thorne, was documented in the County of Cambridge, ibid. William Thorne of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Phillip Thorne and Elizabeth Hammond (widow) were married in London in the year 1579. Thomas Thorne married Sarah Truelove at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1746. Between the 11th and 15th centuries it became customary for surnames to be assumed in Europe, but were not commonplace in England or Scotland before the Norman Conquest of 1066. They are to be found in the Domesday Book of 1086. Those of gentler blood assumed surnames at this time, but it was not until the reign of Edward III (1307-1327) that second names became general practice for all people. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped and flowing garment worn over the armour. 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.
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