This long-established surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name either from the parish of Thor(r)ington, south east of Colchester in Essex, or from Thorington, a parish south east of Halesworth in Suffolk, containing the ancient county manor, Thorington Hall. The former place was recorded as "Torinduna" in the Domesday Book, and as "Thoritone" in the 1291 "Taxatio Ecclesiastica", and was so called from the Olde English pre 7th Century "thorn" or "Thyrne", thorn-bush, and "tun", enclosure, settlement. The latter place, entered as "Tornintune" in the Domesday Book, and as "Thurintone" in "the Valuation of Norwich", dated 1254, shares the same meaning and derivation, that is, "enclosure where thorn-bushes grew". Locational surnames, such as this, were originally given to local landowners, the lord of the manor, and especially as a means of identification to those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. One Roger de Thorington was noted in the 1273 Hundred Rolls of Cambridgeshire, and a Robert de Thorinton was recorded in Lancashire at this time also. Entries of the name in English Church Registers include the christening of Sarah Thorington at St. Botolph Without Aldgate, London, in November 1690, and the marriage of Joseph Thorrington to Mary Darnel in St. Mary the Virgin (at the Walls), Colchester, Essex, on November 11th 1746. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Thorinton, which was dated 1272, in the "Book of Fees of Devonshire", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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