Last name: Thornton

This interesting surname is of Olde English and occasionally Scottish, pre 7th century origins. It is locational and northern, being from any of the several places called Thornton in counties of Lancashire, Lincolnshire and Yorkshire, or from the lands of Thornton in the Mearns, Scotland. Wherever found the name derives from the words "thorn" meaning a thorn bush or hedge, and "tun", an enclosure or settlement. In this case the word "thorn" is believed to have defensive implications, thorn hedges being deliberately grown around fortified positions both to keep would be raiders out, and the owners cattle in. Locational names were frequently given to the local lord of the manor, as in the first recording below, but more usually were "from" names. That is to say names given to people after they left their original homes, to move elsewhere. Early interesting recordings suggest that the name was spelt Thorntowne in Scotland as late as the year 1609, and that a number of Scottish merchants of the name settled in the state of Prussia, the spelling being recorded there as Dornthon in 1644. Other recordings include Henry Thornton in the Freemans rolls of the city of Canterbury. Kent, in 1362, whilst three centuries later in April 1635, Walter Thornton and his wife, Joanna, left the port of London, England, on the ship "Suzan and Ellin" bound the colony of Virginia. They were amonst the first to settle in the new colony. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Beatrice de Thornton. This was dated 1202, in the "Fine Court Rolls" of the county of Yorkshire, during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216.

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Andrew Thornton

have traced my Thornton ancestry back the Robert De Thornton of Yorkshire England born in 1189 He was married to Annabella Thornton (who was born in 1195 and died in 1227). Robert De Thornton and Annabella were married in 1223 and had a son William De Thornton Lord Newton Born in 1224.

kim Thornton


Alan Thornton

Alan Thornton from Mobile AL , checking in

Benjamin Thornton

The last 5(ish) generations of my family have lived in Lancashire, so it's very interesting to find out that's where it may have originated from.

Tayrah Thornton

I'am tanyrah thornton

Aquante Thornton

iM interested in finding the origins of the "Thornton's" of different ethnicities? Korean? African American? Japanese? Austrialian?


I'm an Australian Thornton and we've worked our family tree back almost 150 years.


Roger, How interesting! I'm a Thornton from Texas. I'd love to know how we fit in with the Egertons, the Molyneuxs, the Clercs, and the Rotors. Nice to meet you! Elizabeth

Roger Thornton
I've read all the comments and i've got to say it. My very, very large family is lost, dazed,and seriously confused.... Approximately 95% of Thorntons originated from Peter le Clerc de Malpas. To really extend our family throw in the Egertons, the Molyneuxs, the Clercs, and the Rotors. That is just the male line. Happy searching and hello to all my long lost family around the globe!!!


Roger, How interesting! I'm a Thornton from Texas. I'd love to know how we fit in with the Egertons, the Molyneuxs, the Clercs, and the Rotors. Nice to meet you! Elizabeth

Margaret Thornton
I'm from Mississippi, and there is a county with a ton of Thorntons. Related to most of the county. lol Plus, there are a lot of Thorntons on the coast. I do agree that it is nice to learn more about my name & my ancestors. Those Thorntons in Mississippi are descended from a set of brothers that immigrated to this state.

Benjamin Thornton
Attala county Thorntons?

Michelle Thornton
I am a Thornton living in Birmingham England my dad is Leonard Thornton there is a lot of us Thorntons in Birmingham England. Reading the past information of my name is so fascinating and seeing all other Thornton s from all over the world on this site is welcoming x


Im a Thornton from Australia and was talking with my dad about the English side of Thorntons, you wouldn't happen to be related to a Sylvester Thornton or know anything about him would you?

Rosie Blackbourn
I have Thornton ancestors and have traced them back to Lazarus Thornton 1704 - 1774 in Dover England and his son Henry Thornton 1735 - 1803. Henry's Grandaughter Mary Frances Thornton (1810 - 1864) married my Great Great Grandfather Benjamin Wooley Dudley and came to New Zealand in the "Cressey" in 1850. Thornton is still used as a family middle name right to the present day.

Henry Thornton had a baker's shop on Stour Street Canterbury and his sister Mary had close links to John Wesley the Methodist. fwilliamson at

Jacob Thornton
Holy crap after searching for three years for were and when and why my family came from I finally found it HELL YEAH whoof glad to be me!!

My maiden name is Thornton and we are from Johnston County NC!

Blackman Thornton is my 4th great-grand uncle, and he was born in Johnston County, NC. Maybe we're related! :) His parents were Herod and Zilpha Blackman Thornton, who were my 5th great-grandparents. :)

I would love to find more family on my dad's (Thornton) side, and try to go as far back as I can in my genealogy search. :)

Tanyrah Thornton

Hey I want to know more about my dad side of the family to

Michael Thornton
I am Michael Thornton of Owosso Mi. I have traced my Thornton ancestry back the Robert De Thornton of Yorkshire England born in 1189 He was married to Annabella Thornton (who was born in 1195 and died in 1227). Robert De Thornton and Annabella were married in 1223 and had a son William De Thornton Lord Newton Born in 1224.

Andrew Thornton

Michael, I am Andrew Thornton, also a direct blood decendant of Robert and William De Thornton. We are kin!

Shirley Thornton
I am a Thornton.... and I was born and reared in Virginia Beach... My fathers family is from Savanah, GA. My father never spoke of his family often so I am looking for any historical ties.... I do believe Georgia is where his family is connected with Jones surname...But not sure... He married a Payne.. From Norfolk, VA.

Crystal Thornton
I am a Thornton born and raised Virginia Beach as well. My fathers Name is Stephen Thornton and His fathers name is William Thornton who married Janice King from Norfolk, VA.

Darryl Thornton
I'm from Baltimore Maryland. My grandfather Earl Thornton was a tailor from I believe Val Dosta GA. I'd love to learn more about my family heritage.

wendy Thornton

My grampa was william thomas thornton from wilkes county georgia. Married maoza elizabeth johnson and moved to california when my dad was lityle

Tammy Thornton
Another Thornton here. I am in Oz also, I have traced my Thornton side back to Alexander Thornton who was from Armagh, Ireland born approx. 1800, I do not know much about Alexanders parents but it appears he married Fanny Best and they had possibly 9 children, David, deceased, Fanny, George, John, Lizzie, Rachel, Ruth and Thomas (who I am a descendant from). I have a lot of information from Alexander down but if anyone could help with info on parents of Alexander or any inconsistencies in my findings. Also, if anyone else is from this line, I have also traced the Best family back to as far as the 5th century and would love to share.

danni thornton
wow tammy . reading your post . 1 name stuck out to me . david thornton . that was my uncles name . i have no idea of any connection the family hasn't gone into the thornton side to far , just thought i would say something

Lynette Hughea

My Great Grandmother was Mary Jane Thornton also a descendant of Thomas Henry and Mary Jane McCrackinson. A cousin of Mums had traced Thorntons / Thortons back through Ireland to Oliver Cromwell and found and met descendants of Alexander and Fanny in Canada and US but has let records go. He also said we were related to Sigrid and Merle but I have an absolute brick wall on all these links. I would be very interested in all you have about the older generations in hopes of discovering records again.


I actually have the death certificate of Alexander Thornton in my possession and Thomas Thorntons wifes (Mary) Death Certificate, All the names listed above, David, George, Lizzie ect were actually Mary and Thomas's Children.

Celeste Thornton
My name is Thornton and I live in Little Rock, Arkansas but the Thorntons in my family are from Nebraska.

My great great grandfather was Alonzo Thornton from Kansas city Missourri and my great grandmother Dorothy Thornton-Williams moved to Omaha when she was 23 years old Alonzo had a brother Leon Thornton and sisters Mable Thornton-Taylor and Luara Thornton -Hankins if any connection contact me 402-208-4723

Im a Thornton from Yorkshire!

Hi just started researching my fathers tree, he is Victor John Thornton bor 1917 Liverpool, I have got back to a William Thornton born 1808 Yorkshire son of Samuel an Hannah, would these be any connextion to you. appreciate any advice or help

LaQueita Stevenson
My mother's maiden name is Thornton, her father was Benny Thornton. Mom was born and raised in Philly, PA.

Wayne Sayers
My grandmother's name was Margaret Thornton from Omeemee, Ontario, Canada. It is said that that line came from Ireland but the tartan looks Scottish. Does anyone out there have information on the Thorntons of Ontario, Canada?

Suzanne Thornton
Hello! I am a Thornton, living in Ontario, Canada. Our family line came from Ireland, in fact I lived in Ireland for a year and discovered information about our family line. There were Thornton's from Scotland and also England. I'm afraid there is much confusion as the Thornton name is so spread out throughout the three countries.

Hi Suzanne! My grandfather/father lived in the Toronto area. Granddad was born in Ireland, but I don't know where??? We maybe related! I'd like to go to Ireland and look up some relatives. How would you suggest I begin my search? Cheers! Kim

Pádraic ó Braonáin
There are Thorntons living close to me, and other Thornton families in the area - up on the bog near An Spidéal, County Galway, Ireland - maybe start there????

David Thornton
My parents were from County Cavan, Ireland. nearly all my immediate family were born and live in England. My Dad was Patrick, his Dad was Thomas - there's possibly a Scottish link thrown in the mix too. I also know that my paternal granddad's sisters emigrated to America, married and have descendants in New Jersey, Philadelphia and elsewhere

Hi Ashley I'm a Thornton too, from Gloucestershire UK

Karenne McFayden
I'm an Australian Thornton. Ancestors from Lancashire.......Rochdale/ Bolton area. My grandmother was Eliza (Elsa) who was an actress who migrated to Oz in 1916. Her eldest brother migrated to Western Australia in 1911 and was a horse trainer among other things. Am looking for any living relatives in England and Oz.......are you out there?? :) Karen


My grandmother was a Thornton. Im from Des Moines, IA. I do not know much and if she is connected to the Irish/Scottish groups. My great grandfather was Dale and Married to Melba. He was a ministor I believe methodist but not sure. My grandmother colleen married Richard Knouf. I know of family from all over that are thornton as my grandma had 7 sibilings.

Ashley Thornton
im ashley im a thornton and its my dads. i want to find all the thorntons, thorntens, thorntuns

Aileen morrison
hi my name is Aileen i am daughter of mary o'connor maiden name thornton all born cork i know my grandad was northern ireland

Lillie Arundel
Eli Thornton and Abigail Hittle had a daughter Julia who was my great great grandmother - She married James Hobart and her daughter Patience married Joseph Vandolah and they had a daughter Elma who was my grandmother - anyone have any info on Eli Thornton and Abigail Hittle who were from Pennsylvania? Lille Arundel, Jeffersonville, Indiana

Jim Doran
Walter and Joanna Thornton, listed in the above paragraph, are my Great x 9 Grandparents. Jim Doran Princeton, WV

alex mcpartland
I am looking for any info thank anyone has on my greath grandmother called anne Thornton she moved to reatsfeald estate in newbridge co Kildare in 1939 and lived there with my grandmother partrica thornot and she got married to a partick wall and they had four daughters ann marie and patsie .

Jessica Thornton
I'm a Thornton and I'm from Raleigh NC. All of my Thornton family came from here :)

Jesse Thornton
My family is also from there. I only know of a few of them. Also Sallins

I've got an Uncle Ron, Aunt Jan (Uncle Ron's wife) and cousins (Ron & Jan's daughters) who live in NC, whose last name is Thornton. I "think" they live somewhere around Charlotte, NC.

Rhonda Shaw
Above name is wrong... it's Rhonda Shaw....Looking for family of Mary Lee Thornton from 1960, around the SC area and William W. Thornton, also from the SC area, but possibly anywhere, in 1960, due to the fact they were married in Sumter, SC 1959, and that's where Shaw Air Force Base is. Father ( William W. Thornton ) could be

Rhinda Shaw
I was adopted at birth , born June 23, 1960. Was born to birthparents by the names of Mary Lee and William W. THORNTON, adopted by Dewey and Margaret Shaw. Looking for birth family, for medical reasons and to find out general info about siblings from Birth mother before I was born, and possibly siblings from birthfather as well,

Emma Wright
I was born a Thornton but my grandad was adopted so we dont know whether this was his adoptive name or his birth name - we are investigation to find out.

I am a Thornton who's great grand folks were from Valdosta Ga

Christine Lewis
My father's name was Alan John Desmond Thornton, born in foxhole swansea. His mum's name was Caroline