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Origins of the Thompson surname

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What does the name Thompson mean?

Thompson is a common surname that is believed to have largely Scottish origin. It's the fourteenth most common surname in the UK and twenty third most popular in the United States, with a considerable frequency in Ireland due to the plantation of the country. The Thompson surname is most often thought to be a patronymic name to refer to a 'son of Thomas', and can sometimes also be seen as an anglicisation of the name 'MacTavish'. More rarely, the surname Thompson can sometimes be used as a geographic surname, in reference to the village of Thompson, Norfolk.

Alternative variations of the name Thompson

Thompson, Thomson, Tompson, Tomson, Thomsone

I’ve managed to trace back to the mid-1500s! I can’t believe it! Utterly engrossing and I have uncovered some quite moving and heartbreaking stories attached to various ancestors. You don’t need any qualifications to start - just time patience, and some information.

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Delve deeper into the Thompson family's history

Where do most Thompsons live?

In 1921, most Thompsons lived in London.

Census records trace your ancestors through each generation, so you can follow where your relatives lived through each decade.

Interesting facts about Thompsons

How common is your surname?

18th most common surname in the UK

We have 917,000 records for the Thompson surname. The oldest one dates back to 1220.

Who were Thompsons most likely to marry?




Our Marriage record sets tell us which families married Thompsons.

What are the most common Thompson first names?

  • John
  • William
  • Mary
  • Elizabeth

Our birth record sets tell us the names of Thompson family members

Common jobs for Thompsons

Men and women often performed different types of jobs, so these are displayed by gender to maintain their historical accuracy.

Common Female occupations for Thompsons in 1921


Domestic Servant


Cotton Weaver


General Servant Domestic




Common Male occupations for Thompsons in 1921
Coal Miner


General Labourer


Agricultural Labourer






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We found over 940,000 family trees with the Thompson surname

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