Descendants of William Thackray of Fewston, Yorkshire (circa 1630)

Edited family tree available in PNG, SVG and PDF formats

This edited Thackray family tree is available in PDF, PNG, and SVG formats. No-one living is included in this tree, for privacy reasons (although a non-edited tree does exist) This Internet version is by Jonathan RM Thackray, 16th February 2009. It is arranged chronologically from left to right, children shown top to bottom.

Origins of the name

The surname Thackray/Thackrah is thought to derive from Old Norse "Thakvra" or "þakvra". The name thought to be derived from two parts, "Thack" being Old Norse for thatching reeds and "vra" or "ra" meaning nook or corner of land used in Scandinavian place names for a secluded or outlying place. When joined together these indicate "the name of the man who lived in the place where reeds for thatching grew".

The earliest documented appearance of this surname is in a Poll Tax record from the West Riding of Yorkshire in 1379, when Johannes de Thakwra and Robertus de Thakwra were recorded. Britain was largely under Norman control in those days, so these are Latinized, Norman French names - these two gentlemen probably were known as John and Robert Thakwra to their friends at the local alehouse.

"Wray" is frequently found as a place name in England, often by rivers known to have been navigated by the Vikings (visitors from what is now Denmark and Norway, who heavily influenced local farming, commerce and life in general in the north of England in the period between about 800 and 1100 AD). Because the name originated in the North of England, and seems to have become especially prevalent in Yorkshire, most people with the Thackray name will have at least one Thackray antecedent born in Yorkshire. For a more detailed study of the origin of the name, please read The Thackray Sagabok, written by Gordon Thackrah.

Notes on spelling variations

The surnames in this tree have been transcribed as they are written in the original parish registers and censuses, and there are numerous variations, even between siblings and their parents, or variations between birth, marriage and death records for the same person. Thackwray, Thackeray, Thackerey, Thackary, Thackwraye, Thackrey, Thackery, Thacerey, Thakkerey and Thackara are just some of the variations recorded. Joseph Thackwray's will of 1787 was signed with an X, indicating that he was unable to write his own surname. Accurate spelling was less important in those times than it is for us today.

Primary sources

Data in this tree is primarily taken from the Fewston Parish Register (1593-1812) which records christenings, marriages and burials, the 1841, 1851 and 1861 Askwith censuses, the 1861 Addington census and from headstones in Fewston and Denton villages (see also scanned wills and maps).

Credits and references

The data contained herein was taken from two previous separate family tree arrangements: John Edwin Thackray's 1975 and Robert Clarkson Rothwell's 10-8-1995 arrangement Additional data was obtained from research by George Norman Thackray in Fewston with facilities provided by the Family History Section of the Yorkshire Archaeological Society the Wharfedale and Craven genealogy project and the Wharfedale Family History Group