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Thornton Family History

Thornton Name Meaning

English and Scottish: habitational name from any of numerous places throughout England and Scotland so called from Old English thorn ‘thorn tree’ + tūn ‘farmstead estate’. The placename is most frequent in northern England especially Yorkshire where there are at least 16 possible sources for the surname. Irish: Anglicized (translated) form of Gaelic Mac Sceacháin ‘son of Sceachán’ (see Skehan ). Irish: shortened Anglicized form of Gaelic Ó Draighneáin ‘descendant of Draighneán’ (see Drennan ). Irish: possibly a translated form of Gaelic Ó Muineacháin (see Monahan ).

Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press


Similar surnames: Horton, Thorton, Houston, Thorington, Thurston, Charlton, Harton

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Hint: Try searching for a relative alive in 1940.

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Where is the Thornton family from?

You can see how Thornton families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Thornton family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Thornton families were found in USA in 1880. In 1840 there were 110 Thornton families living in New York. This was about 13% of all the recorded Thornton's in USA. New York had the highest population of Thornton families in 1840.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Thornton surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Thornton ancestors do for a living?

In 1940, Farmer and Maid were the top reported jobs for men and women in the USA named Thornton. 18% of Thornton men worked as a Farmer and 8% of Thornton women worked as a Maid. Some less common occupations for Americans named Thornton were Truck Driver and Teacher. .

View Census Data for Thornton | Data not to scale

*We display top occupations by gender to maintain their historical accuracy during times when men and women often performed different jobs.

Top Male Occupations In 1940

  • Farmer
    18%
  • Laborer
    18%
  • Salesman
    4%
  • Truck Driver
    3%

Top Female Occupations In 1940

  • Maid
    8%
  • Housekeeper
    6%
  • Housewife
    6%
  • Teacher
    5%
Black & white image of two construction labourers

What Thornton family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 624,000 census records available for the last name Thornton. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Thornton census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search US census records for Thornton

Passenger Lists

There are 83,000 immigration records available for the last name Thornton. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in the USA, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

View all Thornton immigration records

Draft Cards

There are 89,000 military records available for the last name Thornton. For the veterans among your Thornton ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

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You've only scratched the surface of Thornton family history

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What is the average Thornton lifespan?

Between 1943 and 2004, in the United States, Thornton life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1944, and highest in 2004. The average life expectancy for Thornton in 1943 was 41, and 74 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Thornton

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