This unusual name is a Germanic form of the English and Danish topographic name for someone who lived by a thorn bush or hedge. The derivation is from the Old English pre 7th century "thorn". The surname could also be from a locational source, from a place named with the word such as "Thorne" in Somerset or "Thorns" in Suffolk. The meaning is the same, i.e. a place of thorn bushes. Locational names were often given to those who left their original home village and went to live or work in another town or village.The first recording of the surname "Thorn" is an follows:- "William Thorn", The Curia Rolls of Sussex, 1206. The list of inhabitants of the parish of Christchurch in the Barbadoes in 1680 shows one John Dorn, owning fifty six acres of land, two servants and thirty one "Negroes". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ellen Doon. which was dated Christened, 22 September 1568, St. Botolphe without Aldgate. during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, Good Queen Bess, 1558 - 1603. 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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