Recorded as Thirlbeck, Thurlbeck, Thurlbone, Thurlborn, Thurlbourne, and no doubt others, and all having the same translation, this is an English surname. It is however locational and contains Norse-Viking pre 8th century origins. It derives from the Norse personal name Thor, meaning thunder, and also the name which has given us Thursday, and to this has been added the suffix of either 'burna' or 'bekkr', both meaning a stream. There are several places in the British Isles whose name begins with Thurl, but nothing as Thirbeck, Thurlbeck or Thurlbourne or anything similar.It would seem that the surname however spelt originates from a now 'lost' medieval village, probably in the North East of England and possibly near the city of Durham. During the period of the "Land Enclosure Acts", from the 15th century as many as seven thousand English "hamlets" were cleared of their inhabitants, and this seems to have been amongst them. The name surname recordings from surviving church registers include: Willyam Thirlebecke, who was married at St. Nicholas', Durham, on September 10th 1595, whilst William Thurbourne married Deborrah Hubbard at the church of St Andrews by the Wardrobe, in the city of London, on September 22nd 1742. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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