History of your Surname
Get access to Thomas family records.Start a free trial

Thomas Family History

Thomas Name Meaning

English French Walloon Breton German Dutch Flemish Danish Greek West Indian (mainly Haiti and Jamaica) and African (mainly Tanzania and Nigeria): from the personal name Thomas of Biblical (New Testament) origin from Aramaic t’ōm’a a byname meaning ‘twin’. It was borne by one of the disciples of Christ known for his scepticism about Christ's resurrection (John 20:24–29). The Th- spelling is organic the initial letter of the name in the Greek New Testament being a theta. The English pronunciation as t rather than th- is the result of French influence from an early date. In Britain the surname is widely distributed throughout the country but especially common in Wales and Cornwall. In North America the English form of the surname has absorbed many cognates from other languages (e.g. Assyrian/Chaldean or Arabic Toma and Tuma Albanian Toma and Thoma and Slavic surnames listed in 3 below) and their patronymics and other derivatives (e.g. Polish Tomaszewski and Slovenian Tomažič; see Tomazic ). In France this surname is most common in the Vosges and Brittany. The name Thomas is also found among Christians in southern India (compare Machan Mammen and Oommen ) but since South Indians traditionally do not have hereditary surnames the southern Indian name was in most cases registered as such only after immigration of its bearers to the US. This surname is also very common among African Americans. Native American (e.g. Navajo): adoption of the English personal name Thomas (see 1 above) as a surname. Germanized or Americanized form of Polish Tomas Tomasz and Tomaś Sorbian Tomaš (see also 4 below) Croatian Tomaš and Tomas Slovenian Tomaš and Tomaž Czech and Slovak Tomáš all meaning ‘Thomas’. Germanized or Americanized form of Sorbian Domaš: from the personal name Domaš a derivative of the Old Sorbian name Domasław based on the Old Slavic element domъ ‘home’ but later associated with the Biblical name Thomas (see 1 above compare 3 above).

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


Similar surnames: Thomes, Toma, Thuma, Tomasi, Choma, Tomes, Tobias, Thorman, Thoman

Search for a relative to learn more about your family history.

Hint: Try searching for a relative alive in 1940.

Black & white image of a young woman scientist

Where is the Thomas family from?

You can see how Thomas families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Thomas family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Thomas families were found in USA in 1880. In 1911 there were 3,765 Thomas families living in Ontario. This was about 39% of all the recorded Thomas's in Canada. Ontario had the highest population of Thomas families in 1911.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Thomas surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Thomas ancestors do for a living?

In 1921, Farmer and Housekeeper were the top reported jobs for men and women in the Canada named Thomas. 27% of Thomas men worked as a Farmer and 12% of Thomas women worked as a Housekeeper. Some less common occupations for Americans named Thomas were Carpenter and Teacher. .

View Census Data for Thomas | 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 1921

  • Farmer
    27%
  • Labourer
    9%
  • Laborer
    7%
  • Carpenter
    3%

Top Female Occupations In 1921

  • Housekeeper
    12%
  • Stenographer
    9%
  • Housewife
    8%
  • Teacher
    7%
Black & white image of two construction labourers

What Thomas family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 4 million census records available for the last name Thomas. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Thomas census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search Canadian census records for Thomas

Passenger Lists

There are 529,000 immigration records available for the last name Thomas. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in Canada, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

View all Thomas immigration records

Draft Cards

There are 800,000 military records available for the last name Thomas. For the veterans among your Thomas ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Thomas military records

You've only scratched the surface of Thomas family history

Discover More

What is the average Thomas lifespan?

Between 1940 and 2004, in the United States, Thomas life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1944, and highest in 2000. The average life expectancy for Thomas in 1940 was 41, and 72 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Thomas

Discover the unique achievements of ancestors in the Thomas family tree

Explore Your Tree
Search for another surname
Start a 14-Day Free Trial