Thora seems to be a female name?

+4 votes
My Father was name sake for his great grand father.  He never liked his middle name Thora. I never knew where the name came from, but see it used as females first name.  Turner-10954  and  Turner 109-53 and my father Turner-10931
WikiTree profile: William Turner
in The Tree House by Deborah Dunn G2G6 Mach 2 (23.8k points)
It's possible it's an obscure variant spelling of Torah, but since they don't seem to have used other similar names, I'd bet it's a surname.
This name has been in my family since 1820's almot every generation, but always with the male Turners, like I mentioned my father William Thora Turner being the last reciptent. He never liked it, and never understood the significance of it, therefore he went by Billy.

Sure wish I could find the answer to why it was added to the name of the Turner men.

Here's a link to a page on the Thora surname, with lots of other links to help in research:

5 Answers

+8 votes
Best answer
Yes, it is a female form of Thor, the thunder god.

But for all I know, it may have other origins as well.

In Sweden you would get Thor/Tor and Thore/Tore for men and Thora/Tora for women. You start thinking -a is always the female ending, but this kind of expectation usually turns out to have exceptions in the most unexpected places.
by Eva Ekeblad G2G6 Pilot (491k points)
selected by Shaun Doust
my grandfather always said we were Irish and Indian, indicating that the Turners were Irish.
I was getting around to the Torah explanation, then saw that it has already been mentioned.

There may still be something in it, even if the family does not use many other names with a religious significance. Did the Law have a special importance in their faith?
Eva, they were Primitive Baptist, and active in the Church.  But we know nothing about William T. R. Turner's parents. And he is the first mention of the name Thora.  We find no proof of  who his parents were, only speculation, and lots of that.  I want documentation with sources.
+5 votes
As Eva mentioned Thore is male name from Swedish decent. I have a few Ancestors with the second name Thore, I"m not sure about the Thora, with an A, perhaps a mis-spelling?

or perhaps a spelling from a different place and maybe even female. In Genealogy and especially with names, anything is possible.
by Shaun Doust G2G6 Pilot (345k points)
If it's from a different place, I wouldn't know.

But answering this made me think of how the name Lars, which is very common in Sweden (I guess it's Lawrence in English and I know it's Laurentius in Latin) - sometimes, informally and in dialects, it comes out as Larsa (even written into the records, as I recall). I ought to be able to think of more examples... but Larsa sort of blocks the path right now.
Eva you are so right in what you are saying, for example with my fathers family Doust, there are many differences in the name. Eg. Doust, Dousted, Dowse, Dowst and of coarse Doux from France, from where we are supposed to have originated. So yes different spelling of names can be of the same family in different countries as names can be different genders in different countries.
+9 votes
There was a young child actress in the 1990s named Thora Birch. She was on Patriot Games, Clear and Presemt Danger, Monkey Trouble and American Beauty.

She was a rather good actress as a teenager.
by Robynne Lozier G2G Astronaut (1.0m points)
For what reason do you think that the name Thora was used in the male line of my Turners?

My grand father told us we were Irish and Indian. He was blonde headed with blue eyes. ??

WE do know William T. R. Turner's mother was Sarah/Nancy as found in Census records, but have no idea what her maiden name is.
+8 votes

As soon as I read the title of this thread it made me think of the famous English actress Dame Thora Hird. Slightly surprised when I searched for her and found she doesn't have a profile on here yet. I'm not volunteering as I still have a few thousand of my own relatives to add (!), but if anybody from the Notables project wants to have a go there seems to be some good starting information on :)

by Paul Masini G2G6 Pilot (258k points)
Exactly who I thought of first, then Thora Birch that Robynne referred to! You both beat me to the punch :-)
And all these Thora's are female, still the question remains, why this name in the Turner males for several generations? ending with my father William Thora Turner who went by Billy.....none of them were called Thora they all used their first name, and Thora was each of their middle names.
+3 votes
My Great Uncle was named Thora Freeland. It was his legal name too. I believe they came from England originally, but were from Georgia. They had some Scandinavian roots, so I was told that is where his name came from. I am not sure why they chose the female form of Thor, but I've found it spelled differently too dating way back.  =)
by Shan Dawson G2G6 (7.7k points)
Might not be the intention to make it the female form.

Might be that the pronounciation of Thora in English is closer to the Swedish pronounciation of Thore than the English pronounciation of Thore would be - the latter might even sound more like a female name, like Fannie or Abbie or Lizzie.

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