Thornburg last name popularity, history, and meaning

Find out how popular the last name Thornburg is in the United States and learn more about the meaning, history, and race and ethnic origin of people in America who are named Thornburg.

Meaning of Thornburg

Habitational surname referring to someone from any of several places named Thornburg, meaning "fortified place with thorn bushes."

Thornburg, like all of the last names we have data for, is identified by the U.S. Census Bureau as a surname which has more than 100 occurrences in the United States in the Decennial Census survey. The most recent statistics we have for the Thornburg surname is from the 2010 census data.

Popularity of Thornburg in America

Thornburg is the 4827th most popular name in America based on the data we have collected from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Thornburg surname appeared 7,309 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 2 people would have the surname Thornburg.

We can also compare 2010 data for Thornburg to data from the previous census in 2000. The table below contains all of the statistics for both years in a side-by-side comparison.

2010 2000 Change (%)
Rank 4827 4551 5.89%
Count 7,309 7,156 2.12%
Proportion per 100k 2.48 2.65 -6.63%

The history of the last name Thornburg

The surname Thornburg originated in England during the medieval period. It is derived from the Old English words "thorn" and "burg," which together mean "thorn-covered fortified place." This suggests that the name initially referred to someone who lived in a thorny, fortified area or settlement.

The earliest recorded instances of the name date back to the 13th century. One of the earliest known bearers of the surname was John de Thornburg, who was mentioned in the Rotuli Hundredorum, a census document compiled in 1274-1275 during the reign of King Edward I.

The Thornburg name appears to have been particularly concentrated in the northern counties of England, such as Yorkshire and Lancashire, where many place names containing the element "thorn" can be found. One such example is the village of Thornborough in Yorkshire, which may have been the original Thornburg from which the surname derived.

In the 14th century, a notable figure with the surname Thornburg was Richard de Thornburgh, who was appointed as the Sheriff of Yorkshire in 1352. He played a role in suppressing the uprisings led by the English rebel leader, William Walworth.

During the 16th century, the Thornburg surname appeared in various spellings, including Thornburgh, Thornborough, and Thornbrough. One prominent individual from this era was Sir Edward Thornburgh (1512-1558), who served as a Member of Parliament and was also a member of the Privy Council under King Edward VI and Queen Mary I.

In the 17th century, a noteworthy Thornburg was Sir John Thornburgh (1591-1668), an English politician and Member of Parliament who supported the Royalist cause during the English Civil War. He was knighted by King Charles I in 1635.

Another significant figure with the Thornburg surname was Sir Edward Thornburgh (1619-1669), who served as Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony from 1667 until his death in 1669. He played a crucial role in the colony's administration and worked to resolve conflicts between the colonists and the Native American tribes.

Throughout its history, the Thornburg surname has been associated with various influential individuals, from members of the English nobility to colonial administrators and political figures. Despite its English origin, the name has since spread to other parts of the world through migration and diaspora.

Race and ethnic origin of people with the last name Thornburg

We also have some data on the ancestry of people with the surname Thornburg.

The below race categories are the modified race categories used in the Census Bureau's population estimates program. All people were categorized into six mutually exclusive racial and Hispanic origin groups:

  1. White only
  2. Black only
  3. American Indian and Alaskan Native only
  4. Asian and Pacific Islander only
  5. Hispanic
  6. Two or More Races

For the most recent 2010 census data, the race/ethnic origin breakdown for Thornburg was:

Race/Ethnicity Percentage Total Occurrences
Non-Hispanic White Only 92.60% 6,768
Non-Hispanic Black Only 1.27% 93
Non-Hispanic Asian and Pacific Islander Only 0.48% 35
Non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaskan Native 1.14% 83
Non-Hispanic of Two or More Races 1.60% 117
Hispanic Origin 2.91% 213

Note: Any fields showing (S) means the data was suppressed for privacy so that the data does not in any way identify any specific individuals.

Since we have data from the previous census in 2000, we can also compare the values to see how the popularity of Thornburg has changed in the 10 years between the two census surveys.

2010 2000 Change (%)
White 92.60% 94.21% -1.72%
Black 1.27% 1.10% 14.35%
Asian and Pacific Islander 0.48% 0.45% 6.45%
American Indian and Alaskan Native 1.14% 1.26% -10.00%
Two or More Races 1.60% 1.33% 18.43%
Hispanic 2.91% 1.65% 55.26%

Data source

The last name data and ethnic breakdown of last names is sourced directly from the Decennial Census survey, conducted every 10 years by the United States Census Bureau.

The history and meaning of the name Thornburg was researched and written by our team of onomatology and genealogy experts.

If you have a correction or suggestion to improve the history of Thornburg, please contact us.

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"Thornburg last name popularity, history, and meaning". Accessed on July 22, 2024.

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