Thornley Family History

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Thornley Name Meaning

English (mainly Lancashire): habitational name from Thornley in Lancashire, so named from Old English þorn ‘thorn bush’ + leah ‘woodland clearing’.

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

Similar surnames: Thorley, Chorley, Charnley, Horsley, Thomley, Townley, Torney, Harley

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Thornley Ethnicity Estimate

What are the common regions with the Thornley name?

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

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  • England & Wales


  • Ireland & Scotland


  • Norway


  • Germanic Europe


  • Sweden


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Thornley Family Origin

Where is the Thornley family from?

Thornley Family Occupations

What did your Thornley ancestors do for a living?

In 1881, School, Son and Carpenter were the top 3 reported jobs worked by Thornley. The most common Thornley occupation in Canada was School. 40% of Thornley's were Schools. A less common occupation for the Thornley family was Farm Hand.

View Census data for Thornley | Data not to scale

  • School

  • Son

  • Carpenter

  • Farm Hand


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

Thornley Historical Records

What Thornley family records will you find?

Census Record

There are 40,000 census records available for the last name Thornley. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Thornley census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search 1881 Canadian census records for Thornley

Passenger List

There are 4,000 immigration records available for the last name Thornley. 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 Thornley immigration records

Draft Card

There are 3,000 military records available for the last name Thornley. For the veterans among your Thornley ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Thornley military records

You've only scratched the surface of Thornley family history.

Thornley Life Expectancy

What is the average Thornley lifespan?

Between 1952 and 2004, in the United States, Thornley life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1953, and highest in 1982. The average life expectancy for Thornley in 1952 was 47, and 76 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Thornley

An unusually short lifespan might indicate that your Thornley 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 Thornley Family Ancestors

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