The surname of THORNTON was a locational name 'of Thornton' near Bradford, County York. Also parishes in the diocese of Lincoln, Oxford, Chester and Canterbury. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. Early records of the name mention Beatrice de Thornton, 1202 Yorkshire. Hugh de Thornton, was documented in 1202 in the County of Yorkshire. Richard de Thornton of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Originally the coat of arms identified the wearer, either in battle or in tournaments. Completely covered in body and facial armour the knight could be spotted and known by the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped garment which enveloped him. 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 II (1307-1327) that second names became general practice for all people. In many parts of central and western Europe, hereditary surnames began to become fixed at around the 12th century, and have developed and changed slowly over the years. As society became more complex, and such matters as the management of tenure, and in particular the collection of taxes were delegated to special functionaries, it became imperative to distinguish a more complex system of nomenclature to differentiate one individual from another.
The Old English word TORN, was undoubtably 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.
Last Name History & Coat of ArmsThe Armorial History Includes the Surname history with a full color rendition of the earliest coat of arms / family crest associated with the surname. This gift will be proudly displayed in any home and be the highlight of conversation !
Includes: Full color Family Coat of Arms, Ancient origin of the name, Spelling variations, Early movement of the surname during the Middle Ages, Noteworthy bearers from the 1500-1600s, First settlers to North America, Contemporary notable bearers of the name or variants and a Unique Certificate number. Every surname history is over 1,800 words long and is Unframed and Printed on an 11"x17" parchment scroll. Allow 7-14 days for delivery.
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