Explore the Family Name Thornburg

The meaning of Thornburg

1. English: variant of Thornberry. 2. Americanized form of Swedish Thornberg.

Dictionary of American Family Names, 2nd edition, © Oxford University Press, 2022.

How common is the last name Thornburg in the United States?

According to data from the Decennial U.S. Census, the surname Thornburg has seen slight fluctuations in its popularity over a decade. In 2000, it was ranked as the 4,551st most popular surname and by the end of the decade in 2010, it had slipped slightly to 4,827th position, registering a change of -6.06%. Despite this decrease in rank, the count of people with this surname actually increased from 7,156 in 2000 to 7,309 in 2010, an increase of 2.14%. The proportion per 100k people also saw a decrease from 2.65 to 2.48, marking a drop of -6.42%.

Proportion per 100k2.652.48-6.42%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Thornburg

On the topic of ethnicity, the Decennial U.S. Census data reveals interesting trends for the surname Thornburg. The percentage identifying as White - the dominant ethnic identity associated with the name - decreased slightly from 94.21% in 2000 to 92.60% in 2010. The Hispanic identity saw a significant increase of 76.36%, climbing from 1.65% to 2.91% over the decade. The Black identity also registered growth at 15.45%, moving from 1.10% to 1.27%. Those identifying as Asian/Pacific Islander and Two or more races saw modest gains of 6.67% and 20.30% respectively. Meanwhile, those identifying as American Indian and Alaskan Native fell by -9.52%.

Two or More Races1.33%1.6%20.3%
American Indian and Alaskan Native1.26%1.14%-9.52%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.45%0.48%6.67%

Thornburg ancestry composition

23andMe computes an ancestry breakdown for each customer. People may have ancestry from just one population or they may have ancestry from several populations. The most commonly-observed ancestry found in people with the surname Thornburg is British & Irish, which comprises 55.8% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (27.5%) and Eastern European (3.6%). Additional ancestries include Scandinavian, Italian, Spanish & Portuguese, Indigenous American, and Ashkenazi Jewish.

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British & Irish55.8%
French & German27.5%
Eastern European3.6%

Possible origins of the surname Thornburg

Your DNA provides clues about where your recent ancestors may have lived. Having many distant relatives in the same location suggests that you may all share common ancestry there. Locations with many distant relatives can also be places where people have migrated recently, such as large cities. If a large number of individuals who share your surname have distant relatives in a specific area, it could indicate a connection between your surname and that location, stemming from either recent ancestral ties or migration.

Based on 23andMe data, people with last name Thornburg have recent ancestry locations in United Kingdom and Ireland.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Greater London, United Kingdom90.00%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom90.00%
West Midlands, United Kingdom90.00%
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom90.00%
West Yorkshire, United Kingdom89.20%

What Thornburg haplogroups can tell you

Haplogroups are genetic population groups that share a common ancestor on either your paternal or maternal line. These paternal and maternal haplogroups shed light on your genetic ancestry and help tell the story of your family.

The top paternal haplogroup of people with the surname Thornburg is R-L20, which is predominantly found among people with European ancestry. Haplogroup R-L20 is descended from haplogroup R-M343. Other common haplogroups include R-Z209 and R-L48, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Mercier, Romo, Brittain, Dexter, Lively, Bedell, Giddings, Whitlock, Sapp, Laney.

The most common maternal haplogroups of people with Thornburg surname are: H1, J1c, H. These most commonly trace back to individuals of European ancestry.

thornburgPaternal Haplogroup Origins R-M343

Your maternal lineage may be linked to Marie Antoinette

Because it is so dominant in the general European population, haplogroup H also appears quite frequently in the continent's royal houses. Marie Antoinette, an Austrian Hapsburg who married into the French royal family, inherited the haplogroup from her maternal ancestors. So did Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, whose recorded genealogy traces his female line to Bavaria. Scientists also discovered that famed 16th century astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus traced his maternal lineages to haplogroup H.

Maternal Haplo Image

What do people with the surname Thornburg have in common?

Spoiler alert: it's complicated. People with the same last name are usually no more genetically similar than a randomly sampled group of people from the same population. That said, people with the same surname are more likely to have similar ancestries than randomly sampled individuals. The reason is the tendency of people with similar cultural or geographical backgrounds to preferentially mate with one another. That's why people who share a surname may be more likely to share traits and tendencies in common than people within the general population. Check out the percentages below to see the prevalences of tastes, habits, and traits of people with your surname compared with prevalences among 23andMe users.



Chocolate Ice Cream

Prefers chocolate flavored ice cream over other flavors.

"Thornburg" Surname 57.1%

23andMe Users 41.3%




When sounds made by others, like the sound of chewing or yawning, provoke strong emotional reactions in an individual.

"Thornburg" Surname 33.3%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Thornburg" Surname 23.3%

23andMe Users 21.1%




A severe headache characterized by intense pain, sensitivity to light and sound, and often accompanied by nausea and vomiting.

"Thornburg" Surname 15.4%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Thornburg?

The short answer is that, if there is an association between surname and health, it's usually more about your ancestry than your name. Individuals with a given surname are no more genetically similar than the general population but often have similar ancestries. The populations of people associated with those shared ancestries often have sets of genetic variations, also known as alleles, in common. Some of those alleles are associated with a greater likelihood of developing certain diseases.

Disease variant frequency by ancestry

Disease allele frequencies in populations associated with the surname Thornburg are shown below. Important Note: not everyone with a disease allele will develop these health condition

Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Y402H variant

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of irreversible vision loss among older adults. The disease results in damage to the central part of the retina (the macula), impairing vision needed for reading, driving, or even recognizing faces. The 23andMe Health + Ancestry DNA test includes the two most common variants associated with an increased risk of developing the condition: the Y402H variant in the CFH gene and the A69S variant in the ARMS2 gene. Learn more about Age-Related Macular Degeneration

British & Irish 62.1%

23andMe Users 57.2%