Thornton Family History

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Thornton Name Meaning

English and Scottish: habitational name from any of the numerous places throughout England and Scotland so called, from Old English þorn ‘thorn bush’ + tun ‘enclosure’, ‘settlement’. Irish: Anglicized (translated) form of Gaelic Mac Sceacháin ‘son of Sceachán’ (see Skehan). Irish: reduced 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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Thornton Ethnicity Estimate

What are the common regions with the Thornton name?

These results combine data from everyone in the AncestryDNA® database with the last name Thornton. The Ancestry® ethnicity regions shown are top five most common on average for these people.

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  • England & Wales


  • Ireland & Scotland


  • Germanic Europe


  • Cameroon, Congo, & Southern Bantu Peoples


  • Benin/Togo


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Thornton Family Origin

Where is the Thornton family from?

Thornton Family Occupations

What did your Thornton ancestors do for a living?

In 1880, a less common occupation for the Thornton family was Farming. Farmer, Laborer and Keeping House were the top 3 reported jobs worked by Thornton. The most common Thornton occupation in the USA was Farmer. 36% of Thornton's were Farmers.

View Census data for Thornton | Data not to scale

  • Farmer

  • Laborer

  • Keeping House

  • Farming


Census records can tell you a lot of little known facts about your Thornton ancestors, such as occupation. Occupation can tell you about your ancestor's social and economic status.

Thornton Historical Records

What Thornton family records will you find?

Census Record

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 1940's US census records for Thornton

Passenger List

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 Card

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.

Thornton Life Expectancy

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

An unusually short lifespan might indicate that your Thornton ancestors lived in harsh conditions. A short lifespan might also indicate health problems that were once prevalent in your family. The SSDI is a searchable database of more than 70 million names. You can find birthdates, death dates, addresses and more.

Famous Thornton Family Ancestors

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