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Thomas Family History
Recorded in over two hundred spelling forms ranging from the British Tomas and Thomas, the Italian Tommasi and Toma, the German Thom, Thomas, Thoma, Thumm, and Thome, the Slavonic Tomaschek, the Russian Fominov, the Belorussian Tomich and Khomich, the Swedish Thomasson, and many, many, others, the origin is Aramaic. The translation being 'the twin', as in twin- brother, and it was born by St. Thomas, one of the early Christian disciples. The personal name was relatively popular throughout the Christian world, but as a priest's name only, in the period before the religious revival and the Crusades to free the Holy Land in the 11th and 12th centuries.
Thomas is a Welsh/English, French, German, Dutch and Danish surname from the New Testament saint, taken from Aramaic t’om’a (twin). The surname is found in considerable numbers also in India. In Great Britain in the 1881 Census most were found in Glamorgan. The modern English population is approximately 138, 916; and in Wales it is 71, 063. The French population is considerable also, approximately 114,224.
The entire population of England and Wales in 1891 was 133, 389. The heaviest concentrations of the name in Britain were in the Welsh counties of Glamorgan (32, 752) and Carmarthen (12, 378), followed by Lancashire (8, 252). The rest of South Wales, Lancashire and Cornwall also had significant numbers.
The surname was established early in southern England, particularly Kent where Hugo Thomas appears in the Assize Rolls for 1317. However, it was as a Welsh surname, an Anglicisation of Tomos, that the densest concentration is found. An early Welsh bearer is David Thomas, recorded in 1675 in the I.G.I. It should be noted that it wasn’t until as late as the 19th century that Welsh surnames became hereditary. The proximity to Wales explains the high number in Bristol in the 1881 Census, occupying second place in the city with approximately 9000 bearers.
The top two occupations for bearers of this surname in England and Wales in 1891 were farmer and coal miner.
1881, 1891 Census
International Genealogical Index, Church of the Latter Day Saints (Mormons).
The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland Hanks, Coates, McClure OUP 2016.
Dictionary of American Family Homes, P Hanks OUP 2003
Homes of Family Names in Great Britain, H.B. Guppy, London 1890
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