Last name: Thomson

This famous surname is regarded as being of "Crusader" origins, and found in every European country. That is to say it is a name associated with the Christian Faith, and one whose popularity followed the twelve Crusades by the knights of St John, under the command of various European kings in particular Richard, Coeur de Lyon, of England, to free the Holy Land from the Muslim. All the Crusades were unusuccessful, but it was not for want of gallantry, on either side. Returning knights, as a reminder of their efforts, gave their children names associated with the Bible. One of the most popular was Thomas. This was an Aramaic byname meaning "twin", and borne by one of Christ's disciples. Prior to the Crusades the name Thomas was found only as a priest name, 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 firstly in the 14th Century, the first recording being from Scotland. The intrusive "p" of the English and Irish forms was for easier pronunciation, and the wild fable about "p" meaning prisoner, is total rubbish. If "p" did imply prisoner, every name would have one! One of the earliest recordings is that of John Thompson in the charters of the Abbey of Whitby, Yorkshire, in 1349, whilst amongst the early church recordings is the marriage of David Thompson and Mary Clarke on May 29th 1664 at St. Giles Cripplegate, in the city of London. The first recorded spelling of the family name in any spelling is believed to be that of John Thomson, which was dated 1318, in the Annals of Scotland. This was during the reign of King Robert 1st of Scotland, known as "The Bruce", 1306 - 1329. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop", often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2015

Want to dig deeper into your family history? Take a look at our page on building a Family Tree. Or get scientific and enter the exciting world of Ancestral DNA!

Surname Scroll

Enjoy this name printed onto our colourful scroll, printed in Olde English script. An ideal gift. View Details.
PayPal Acceptance Mark
Surname Scroll

Alexander John Thomson

Hey I need some help finding out about my family I'm in western Aus any one that can help aj Thomson on facebook thanks

Jason Thomson

My grand parents immigrated to the US from Scotland. I am proud that my last name wasn't changed to Thompson

Tim Thompson

My 5th Great Grandfather John J Thomson changed his name spelling to Thompson while he was a tailor/farmer in Hunterdon, N.J. in about 1770. At that time he appears to have been the only businessman in New Jersey who was a Thomson and not a ThomPson. I think he changed it to fit in. Family history only records that the other family members were disappointed that he changed the spelling.

allan archie thomson

allan archie thomson here, father Scottish, mother english raised in cheshire.... Strange, i feel more aligned to all things north of the border but i detest haggis! (joke). I know little if anything about my fathers side but as i take all names from him (his middle name was Allan - Scottish spelling), i feel i need to know more about my past, this page may well inspire me to find out more... My mother forbode any talk of him in the house throught my childhood as they went their ways when i was young.

Dave Thompson
There is cause to believe the allegedly "anglicised" spelling of the surname has it's roots in Northumberland where the spelling is most common. Those of you who would consider it "English" would do well to consider it was mention in the "rolls" (we would call the census) of the early 1600's. In which the "Thompsons" (note the use of the p) were described as "a most troublesome, and unruly family of malcontents", our origins apparently being in Dumfries & Galloway. Our surname is one of the most cool on, and undoubtedly has Nordic origins (given most of Northern Britain and Ireland were occupied by them, in fact Bamburgh in Northumberland is recognised as the seat of the first "King Of The Britons" in Nordic history). Whatever your spelling, whatever your origins (I personally consider the name to be a mix of Scots/Irish/English origin from my own research), enjoy it, be proud of it, but most importantly be proud of whom you are and your right to continue it! "lest thou knowst thyself!"

Mark Thomson
Coming from Dumfries i can relate too the "a most troublesome, and unruly family of malcontents" lol sounds a lot like me.

Alexander D C Thomson

I am from Dumfries too Mark. Not a malcontent per se but troublesome at time ! :-)

Darcy Thomson

Dumfries is where my dad was born.Malcontents,guess I got some of dads traits ;)

Nicholas de Vere (An Mhaior)
Thompson is the Anglicised variant of the Scotic Mac Tamhais pronounced Mac Tavish in the Gaelic.

Ken Thomson
We Thomsons are, indeed, maligned by those who insist in inserting a ", although it matters only on official documents and historical references. The famous "Thompson's Gazelle" in Southern Africa was, in fact, named after an explorer named Thomson. As a point of interest, not commonly known, a signatory to the US Declaration of Independence was the Secretary of the Continental congress - Charles Thomson.

P J Thomson
I am a "dry" Thomson (no pee in it) family joke! But we have origins from Norway and Scotland. I believe ours is the Scottish line though. Proud of being a Thomson.

Mr. Thomson P T
i liked this name thomson very much..............

Alex Thomson
A few years ago, whilst talking with a Thompson (with a "P") he told me of a story relating to the Thomsons who supported the armies a Bonnie Prince Charlie had the "P" added to their surnames to show their support. I find this a little strange as Bonnie Prince Charlie was Catholic and the "P" possibly signified protestant. Incidently whilst I'm English from Barrow-in-Furness I know I have distant relatives in the Greenock area of Renfrewshire, Scotland

Markezie ThoMSon
When I have antibiotics it aggravates me when my last name is spelt Thompson

Nathan Thomson
I find it disappointing that the article neglected to mention that the predominant Scottish form of the name is simply an Anglicization of the Gaelic surname, MacTamhais (MacTavish) found in Knapdale in western Argyleshire. MacTavish is, of course, Gaelic for "son of Thomas." The Germanic/Scandanavian roots of the "son" suffix more probably lay in the relationship with the Anglo-Saxons and Danish Normans of England than the Vikings themselves. There is no question that the Vikings had an influence in Scotland, but not as great an effect as the English colonization of Scotland through the 12th and 13th centuries. Germanic speaking populations tend to use the suffix "sen" and not "son". "Son" is an English format.

R Whiting
In the Edgeworth papers ref.M1502: the 1726 Church of Ireland (England) Census the name Thomson is found. In later records it has been anglicized to Thompson. Local research appears to indicate it has arrived in Longford and Leitrim from the James I Scottish Ulster Plantation (1607). Some associate one of its origins is Aberdeenshire.

Barbara Thomson
hi! my name is Barbara Thomson and I am from Chile, no many people here has that surname and i wanted to know where it ome from. if someone has more information or something please please contact me by email B.

Neil E. Thomson
My Great Uncle Duncan John Thompson settled in South America; do you know your family history?

Mark Ian Thomson
Hi my name is Mark Thomson and i am quite proud of the fact that my surname does not have the P, although it always creates problems when giving my name over the phone when booking hotel rooms etc. I have always wanted to express this but either noone cares or people have a life and its unimportant to them. My families origins are apparently from Dundee. Mark, London

Rosemary Thomson Dickes

My grandfather's name was Mark Thomson born in New York 1865. He married Augusta Ryberg in St. Louis abt. 1908. They had 3 children including my father, Mark St. John Thomson (1913). There is no record of him after 1920 (in St. Louis Missouri). According to the 1910 and 1920 census his parents were from England.

ive also herd that thomson was generated from a son of thom.. as in.. david is thom's son.. david thomson.. ??

David Thomson

Yup, that's my name!