Last name: Thompson

This famous name is one of the patronymic forms of the name Thom or Tom, diminutives of the male personal name Thomas. The given name is of Biblical origin, being an Aramaic byname meaning "twin", borne by one of Christ's disciples; in England the name Thomas was found only as the name of a priest before the Norman Conquest of 1066, but thereafter became one of the most popular male personal names, generating a wide variety of surnames. The patronymic forms from diminutives, such as Thomson (the Scottish form) and Thompson, found mainly in England and Northern Ireland, appear in the 14th Century, the first recording being from Scotland. The intrusive "p" of the English and Irish forms was for easier pronunciation, although there are two old wives tales that the 'p' meant 'prisoner', or in Ireland 'Protestant', both are incorrect. Examles of early recordings include John Thompson in the Charters of the Abbey of Whitby, Yorkshire, in 1349, and Thomas Tomson, who married Elizabeth Harris at the church of St Jon the Evangelist, Dublin, on December 12th 1631. The earliest Coat of Arms is probably the following granted in Yorkshire in 1559. Per fess silver and black, with a fesse embattled between three falcons counterchanged, belled, beaked and jessed in gold. The crest is an arm holding a gold truncheon . One of the very earliest settlers in the New World, was William Thompson recorded as 'living at Elizabeth Cittie, Virginea', before February 16th 1623. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Thomson, which was dated 1318, in the "Annals of Scotland", during the reign of King Robert 1 of Scotland, known as "The Bruce", 1306 - 1329. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

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Here is something I found while researching my mom's family (Thomson) -

David, I had to do some revisions - you know how easy it is to go down the wrong trails! I'm not sure about the Christofer Thompson/Tompson connection, but I do know that my 10th great-grandfather was Thomas Tuthill Thompson/Tompson, b. 1580 in Birkin, Yorkshire. He married Margaret Locksmith, also b. in 1580. Their daughter, Jenette, 1606-1673, married a John Poskitt, 1606-1690. The Poskitt name is very rare, and that line can still be found in Yorkshire. The name Thompson is quite common, obviously, which makes doing research on it difficult.

Im Thompson george and john are the names right down the tree. Originally irish then sheffield. There are a lot of Thompsons in my tree named george we all have black wavy hair fair skin. It is very interesting.,THankyou, Lindsey.

jamie thompson
i had a uncle george n him n his 6 brothers inc my dad all had dark wavy hair,, but are from north shields tyne & wear there father i'm sure was scottish though

David Thompson
Im also a yorkshire Thompson from Kingston upon hull any conections

I've traced my Thompson (Yorkshire, England) lines back to my 12th great-grandfather, Christofer Thompson.

thompson= English Thomson= Scottish The vast majority of Irish people with either of these surnames are descendants of British Settlers (as are approximately 1/3 of the Irish population today). I know what you're thinking- Im Irish and Catholic and named Thompson- therefore it cant be an English name. Sorry- Not true. A huge number of English settled in Munster prior to the protestant reformation so settlers from this time would also have been catholic AND English

Well Im curious about why my last names is Thompson but on my father side his grandparents parents' parents' are from germany, Czechoslovakia and why is that?

so is my dad's parents parents parents

John Frederick Harper
My Grandmother was Emily Thompson from worcestershire England

Why do you have Thompson down twice with the same information? Also, what about all of the Thompsons that I know that are Scandinavians? It IS interesting to note that it is also Irish because I had always heard that my great grandmother (maiden name Thompson) was Irish and couldn't understand why. This is a very enjoyable site.

Charles Thompson
Thompson is of an English/Anglican origin. However, many Celtic peoples in the Scottish region elected this surname to hide traditional names, such as MacTavish during the Jacobite rebellion (a genocidal era for the highland Scottish). One theory for the numerous ways of spelling Thompson, such as Thomson and so on is that many were uneducated in English at the time; therefore, many spellings arose. As for the Irish origin, there was quite a bit of intermarriage between the Scottish and Irish. It's likely that an intermarriage with a Scottish man carried the surname to your Irish ancestors. Although, it could have been English (less likely). Here's a little more info on the topic:

craig thompson
i would not say Thompson is common,id say we tried to conquer the known world single handily lol

Joshua Thompson
Long live the Thompsons

Barbara Bakker nee Thompson. My Dad was born in West Yorkshire 1987.

I do not know where on earth to begin my search for my family history.


My Thompson line can be found near Yorkshire before coming to colonial Virginia. My YDNA indicates Scandinavian male line, and seeing that Yorkshire was heavily populated by Scandinavians when the great heathen army attacked England, this makes sense. Also, the etymology of the son ending indicates a Scandinavian origin. I've taken several DNA tests and many of my close matches are found in Scotland, the Sheland Isles, Norways coastal areas, and Denmark. My Thompson line can be found in colonial America along the York River and later on the Piedmont of Virginia before moving westward. I suspect that many of the Thompson lines found around early Yorkshire England are the descendants of Norse men.