The earliest mention of the name Thorning goes back to the 14th century with a Hugh Thornyng living in Exeter in Devon. There have been several variants of the name over the years; these are Thorning, Thornyng, Thornynge and Thornin. It is a localized name solely distributed in the South Hams area of Devon. Indeed all Thornings of English stock living today can trace their origins to Devon. There is a train of thought that there is a connection with the village of Thorning near Viborg in Denmark, but this is an unproved theory.

The Thornings are thought to have come to Devon from Denmark several centuries ago; there is a place called Thorning in Denmark. Thornings throughout the UK have their roots in Devon, where four main branches of the family have been identified, originating around Brixton, Newton Abbot, Salcombe and Slapton.

This website contains links to downloadable documents containing information about the four branches of the family: Brixton, Newton Abbot, Salcombe and Slapton. There is also a page of useful links to relevant maps, pictures etc.

The information on this website has been researched, collated and arranged by Roy Thorning, to whom very sincere thanks are due. His painstaking efforts to uncover the history of Thornings living in the UK will be of assistance to many people; his hard work is much appreciated.

Disclaimer: The information has been collected from many sources over the years. The author has endeavoured to be as accurate as the information allows; however if mistakes have been made the author would be more than happy to put things right greenwood (at) thorning . info