Thornton family crest and coat of arms

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Meaning of the Thornton family crest symbols


The torse was originally used to mask the join between helmet and crest but also holds a secondary meaning as a momento given to a crusader by his lady-love, given to him when he left for battle.

Meaning of the Thornton coat of arms colors


The silver or white color on the coat of arms, (known as 'Argent'), signifies sincerity and peacefulness. It is one of the oldest colors known in ancient heraldry.

Thornton name meaning and origin

The early history of the family name Thornton is a fascinating tale that spans centuries and is deeply rooted in the British Isles. While the exact origins of the name are uncertain, it is believed to have derived from a place name, indicating that the first bearers of the name were likely associated with the village or town of Thornton.

The name Thornton can be traced back to the early medieval period in England. It is believed to have originated in the northern counties of Yorkshire and Lancashire, where several places bear the name Thornton. These locations include Thornton-le-Street, Thornton-le-Moor, and Thornton-in-Craven, among others. The prevalence of these place names suggests that the name Thornton was adopted by families who resided in or hailed from these areas.

During the Middle Ages, surnames became increasingly common as a means of identification. The name Thornton, like many other surnames of the time, was likely adopted to distinguish individuals within a community. It is believed that the first bearers of the name were farmers or landowners who took their name from the place they called home.

As the centuries passed, the name Thornton spread beyond its original northern roots. Families bearing the name can be found throughout England, Scotland, and Ireland. The name's migration can be attributed to various factors, including population movements, economic opportunities, and intermarriage.

In the early history of the Thornton name, individuals with this surname were likely engaged in agricultural pursuits. They would have worked the land, tending to crops and livestock, and contributing to the local economy. Over time, some Thorntons may have diversified their occupations, branching out into trades such as blacksmithing, carpentry, or weaving.

The Thorntons would have lived in close-knit communities, where family ties and social connections played a significant role. They would have participated in local events, religious ceremonies, and communal activities, contributing to the fabric of their respective communities.

While the early history of the Thornton name is rich and diverse, it is important to note that this account does not delve into the meaning of the name, family crests or coat of arms, the history of the name in America, or any notable individuals who bear the surname. Instead, it focuses on the geographical origins of the name and the general occupations and lifestyles of the early Thornton families.

Thornton name origin in the United States

The Thornton family name has a rich and early history in America, with the first settlers arriving in the early colonial period. While they were not the very first to bear the name, they were among the first families to establish themselves in the New World.

The early Thorntons were adventurous and determined individuals who sought new opportunities and a fresh start in America. They were part of the wave of English immigrants who arrived in the 17th and 18th centuries, seeking religious freedom, economic prosperity, and a chance to build a better life.

These early Thorntons settled in various regions across America, including New England, the Mid-Atlantic, and the Southern colonies. They became farmers, merchants, craftsmen, and tradesmen, contributing to the growth and development of their communities.

Over time, the Thornton name spread throughout the country as these early settlers established families and had children. They became an integral part of the fabric of American society, passing down their name and traditions to future generations.

The early history of the Thornton family in America is a testament to the spirit of exploration and resilience that characterized the early settlers. Their contributions to the development of the nation cannot be understated, as they played a vital role in shaping the communities they settled in and laying the foundation for future generations of Thorntons in America.

History of family crests like the Thornton coat of arms

Family crests and coats of arms emerged during the Middle Ages, mostly in wider Europe. They were used as a way to identify knights and nobles on the battlefield and in tournaments. The designs were unique to each family and were passed down from generation to generation.

The earliest crests were simple designs, such as a single animal or symbol, but they became more elaborate over time. Coats of arms were also developed, which included a shield with the family crest, as well as other symbols and colors that represented the family's history and achievements.

The use of family crests and coats of arms spread throughout Europe and became a symbol of social status and identity. They were often displayed on clothing, armor, and flags, and were used to mark the family's property and possessions.

Today, family crests and coats of arms are still used as a way to honor and celebrate family heritage.

Thornton name variations and their meaning

The family name Thornton has various variations across different regions and cultures. In England, it is commonly spelled as Thorton or Thourton. In Scotland, the name is often seen as Tornton or Torntoun. In Ireland, the name can be found as O'Thornton or Thorntonson. These variations reflect the diverse history and migration patterns of the Thornton family. Over time, as families moved and settled in different areas, the spelling and pronunciation of the name evolved. Additionally, the name may have been influenced by local dialects and accents. Despite the variations, the name Thornton remains a recognizable and respected surname in many parts of the world. It is fascinating to see how a single name can have multiple forms, each representing a unique branch of the family tree.

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