This wonderful old surname is recorded both in England and Ireland, but its origins are Olde French. It may have come over with or shortly after the Norman Conquest of 1066, but is more probably late medieval. It derives from the job descriptive word 'Tondeur' and as such described one who 'sheared' or who manufactured shears. This occupation itself would suggest a possible link with the Flemish Weavers of the 13th century. Certainly by the time of the Huguenots in the 16th century, the name was already as Tender, Tander, Tunder and the more usual Thunder, well established in England. The surname is also found as 'Thunderman' a form which suggests friend or servant of Thunder, Henrye Thunderman being married to Elizabeth Dekon at the church of St Mary Magdalene, London, on July 6th 1610. The 'Thunders' were also prominent at this time in Dublin, Ireland, a coat of arms being granted to Francis Thunder, a prominent merchant of that city in 1619. The blazon of this arms is a silver field, a chevron engrailed between three trumpets, all black. The surname is also recorded in France, an example being Claude Tondeur in the original spelling, who was a witness at Laloeuf, Meurthe-et-Moselle, on March 14th 1676, whilst Pierret Tondeur who married Abraham Wright at St Pancras Old Church, London on November 3rd 1794, may have been a refugee from the French Revolution of 1792. Other recordings include James Thunder of Dublin in 1669, and Honour Thunder, christened at St James Church, Clerkenwell in the same year. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Thunder, which was dated April 6th 1607, who married at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, during the reign of King James 1 of England and V1 of Scotland, 1603 - 1625. 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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