Thornton Family History
The Thornton ancient family history was found in the irishsurnames.com archives. Thornton is a locational name from Bradford, in Yorkshire, and the lands of Thornton in the Mearns. This name is of Anglo-Celtic origin and is found throughout England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. It is found in many mediaeval manuscripts in these countries. Examples of such are a Roger de Thorntone, County Cambridgeshire, who was recorded in the 'Hundred Rolls', England, in the year 1273. A George Thorneton and Johanna Alondon were granted a marriage license, in London in the year 1570. In Scotland an early record of the name refers to a Laurence de Thorneton, who was witness to a deed by Henry, Abbot of Arbroath, in the year 1204. A John of Thornton was Burgess of Montrose in the year 1296. In Ireland a Matthew Thornton, 1714-1803, was a signatory of the American Declaration of Independence, he being a medical doctor from the North of Ireland. Some Thorntons in Ulster Province in Ireland were introduced by settlers from England and Scotland during the seventeenth century. Thornton has also been used as a variant of several Gaelic names including Drennan, Skehan, Meenagh and Tarrant.
The Thornton family crest (or coat of arms) came into existence many centuries ago. The process of creating these coats of arms began as early as the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this, including Ireland. The new more formalized art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own family crest, coat of arms, including Thornton descendants.