Threlkeld Name Study

Privacy Level: Public (Green)

Surnames/tags: Threlkeld Thrailkill Thurlkill
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The Threlkeld Name Study is also registered with the Guild of One Name Studies.



If you have the ancient English surname Threlkeld—or any common variant spellings including, but not limited to, Thrailkill, Threlkel, Thurlkill, and Threldkeld—in your family tree, I hope you will join our Study and help build a valuable resource for people studying direct or related lines.

WikiTree is the for-record repository of family tree information (individuals and their ancestors and descendants). The Threlkeld One-Name Study website at is operated concurrently and is the repository for reference materials, unique family artifacts like photographs and bible records, and project activities related to the Study.

You can view a list of all WikiTree profiles that have been added to the Threlkeld One-Name Study at our Category page.

The Threlkeld Study is registered with
the Guild of One-Name Studies

In keeping with principles of the Guild of One-Name Studies, the Threlkeld One-Name Study is global in scope, and it seeks to examine all instances of the surname and associated variant spellings in all timeframes.


There is no obligatory time commitment or work responsibility required. Contribute as you like, when you can. Researching and refining the documentation of your own Threlkeld ancestry is obviously of enormous value.

To keep abreast of WikiTree communications dealing with the Study, add the G2G tag "Threlkeld" or "Thrailkill," the two most prevalent spellings of the surname.

To view individual WikiTree profiles currently associated with the effort, please visit the Study's WikiTree Category page.

Category Code

To get started as a Study participant, all you need to do is add the Study's WikiTree Category Code to the profiles of people you manage who were born with the surname or any of its variant spellings:

[[Category:Threlkeld Name Study]]

Just copy and paste that line immediately above the "== Biography ==" line of the relevant profiles that you manage. Simple and easy. This adds the profile automatically to the page that maintains a list of all associated profiles.

Profile Stickers

Additionally, there are two WikiTree "stickers" you can use to highlight your Threlkeld profiles.

Sticker for Ancestral Profiles

This profile is part of the Threlkeld Name Study.

The first is specifically for Threlkeld (and related variant) lineages where you have already placed the Category statement in the profile. It shouldn't be used unless the Category designation is in place. But since the Category information now appears at the very bottom of the profile pages, you can add this sticker directly underneath the "== Biography ==" line to better highlight that the profile is part of the Study:

{{One Name Study|name=Threlkeld}}

The result—with a unique icon designed for the Study—will look like the small box at right, above.

Sticker for Your Own Profile

... ... ... is a member of the Threlkeld Name Study.

The second sticker is for use only on the profiles of living people who are participating in the Study. Like you! Again, paste it underneath the "== Biography ==" line:


It will look something like the second box on the right, but your name will be inserted automatically in place of the dots that you see.

Associated Guild of One-Name Studies Program

The Village of Threlkeld at the southern base of Blencathra. The
course of Kilnhow Beck, which the village was built around, is
clearly seen through the mountain. The first documented use of
Threlkeld as a place-name was in 1220, but the village has likely
existed in some form since the time of the Danelaw, circa 900 AD.

The Study is operated in conjunction with a registered Guild of One-Name Studies effort. A for-purpose, extensive website has been built that includes, among other features, a curated and collaborative repository of reference and source materials. See an overview of the Study and what's available at the Study website.

At the Study's website, you can also read about the etymology and origins of the Threlkeld surname, dating back to the time of the Danelaw in circa 10th century England, and read a 19th century article summarizing some of the earliest known appearances of the surname in written records.

In association with the Study, we also administer the Threlkeld Surname DNA Project at Family Tree DNA. Y-chromosome testing results are updated there; autosomal testing information is maintained, where appropriate, at WikiTree and at the Study website. As significant atDNA triangulation groups are identified, a new feature will be added to illustrate these for easier reference.

I hope you'll join us in our collaborative initiative to improve knowledge globally about this ancient surname of English knights and lords. Please contact me via WikiTree or from the Study's website if you have any questions or comments about the Threlkeld One-Name Study or the Threlkeld Surname DNA Project.

Surname Variants

A portion of the ancient Castlerigg Stone Circle
viewed at dawn. Two miles southwest of the Village of
Threlkeld, the standing stones were erected around
3200 BC, making them centuries older than Stonehenge.

The primary surname of the Study, Threlkeld, was first in documented use by 1282 in northern England, but as a place-name it was extant at least century or more prior to that. Phonetically, the name has lent itself to a broad number of variant and deviant spellings (deviant is a term coined by the Guild of One-Name Studies to describe a surname spelling that is simply accidental or an aberration, one that was never commonly adopted and used for an extended period).

While other spellings are both acknowledged and welcomed, the following surnames, in alphabetical order, are the ones most closely associated with the Study:

  • Thrailkeld
  • Thrailkill
  • Threldkeld
  • Threlkel
  • Threlkeld
  • Thurlkill

To date, we have cataloged 29 valid variant spellings. Another grouping of surnames that may well be associated based on etymology and location of origin are categorized as Threlfall/Threlfell/Threfall; we have seven of these spellings cataloged.

Perhaps the surnames most often incorrectly associated with Threlkeld we categorize as Threadgill/Threadgold/Treadgold. While there certainly may have been instances where the names Threadgill and Threlkeld were confused or intermingled, Threadgill is etymologically very different and almost certainly unrelated in origin. These surnames don't even stem from Old Norse roots as do Threlkeld and Threlfall. We have 17 Threadgill/Threadgold/Treadgold variants cataloged.

The Threlkeld One-Name Study
website at

Similar is a group of surnames we categorize as Thirkell/Thirkettle/Thirkill. We've cataloged 29 variant spellings in this group. This too is a dithematic name composed of two Old Norse roots, but they differ significantly from those that originated Threlkeld. In this case, the surname is a direct derivation of an Old Norse personal name, Thorketill, combining the name of Thor, god of thunder in Scandinavian mythology, with ketill, meaning a cauldron, specifically one intended for sacrificial purposes.

Examples of deviant spellings include Trellkeld, Threlekelde, and Threlikeld. These types of instances are likely simple mistakes occuring from phonetic spelling. While they do appear in genealogical source documents, when they do so only once or twice.

Free Reference Resource from the Threlkeld One-Name Study Website

  • Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society (1888) Series 1, Volume IX. "The Threlkelds of Threlkeld, Yanwath, and Crosby Ravensworth." William Jackson. F.S.A. (pp. 298-317). PDF format, searchable, 4.4 MB. This is a seminal paper about the first documented uses of the Threlkeld surname by an esteemed and prolific researcher of northwest England. (Note: This article is being left in place permanently as a resource for members of the Threlkeld One-Name Study.)

Summary of Relevant Links

  • The WikiTree FreeSpace page for the Study (this page)
  •, a daily aggregate of news and articles from around the world related to genealogy, genetics, history, linguistics, and the Threlkeld One-Name Study

Latest News & Updates

26 SEP 2019 — Changes have been made to the use of profile stickers in WikiTree One-Name Studies. The modifications have been incorporated into this page in the Participation section.

In addition to adding the Category to Threlkeld profiles that you manage, now that Categories appear only at the bottom of profile pages you can add a sticker directly under the profile's Biography heading to clearly show that "This profile is part of the Threlkeld Name Study." We've even designed a unique, new icon just for the purpose.

And now there's also a sticker you can add to your own profile to show that you are a member of the Study.

19 JUN 2019 — Registration is open (deadline 10 July) for the first annual Connect-a-Thon that will run from 8 a.m. (EDT) Friday, 12 July 2019 through 8 a.m. (EDT) Monday, 15 July. This event is all about adding new (and properly sourced) profiles that connect with profiles already in the tree. For example (speaking from personal experience, ahem) say you entered your 3g-grandparents two years ago, but only filled-in your direct line of descent, leaving the families of all those 2g- and 3g-grand aunts and uncles hanging. There could be scores of them and their offspring!

Now is a perfect time to join a team and add those profiles. A personal recommendation: since this is a competition, you won't be providing complete source citations or writing nice biographies for all those folks. I'll be keeping a spreadsheet as a future task list so I can go back and complete the new profiles over the subsequent several weeks.

It's also the perfect time to make sure all your folks born with the Threlkeld, Thrailkill, or Thurlkill surname are categorized in the One-Name Study. Just copy and paste the following line immediately above the "== Biography ==" line of the profiles:

[[Category:Threlkeld Name Study]]

Read all about the Connect-a-Thon on its Help page, and register for the Thon on this G2G topic.

12 JAN 2019 — One of the previous Random File of the Week posts has been uploaded to WikiTree as a permanent resource for Threlkeld researchers. Appearing in Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society (1888) Series 1, Volume IX (pp. 298-317), William Jackson's paper, "The Threlkelds of Threlkeld, Yanwath, and Crosby Ravensworth," was one of the first compiled works that researched the Threlkeld surname and its earliest appearances in northwest England. This article is in PDF format, is searchable, and is 4.4 MB in size.

7 DEC 2018 — At least through the end of January, we'll offer a Random File of the Week here on the Study's WikiTree page. Tried to come up with a decent acronym for Random File of the Week, but I got nuthin' good. RAFOW? RANFIW? RAFIOTWEEK? <cough cough>

On the Threlkeld One-Name Study's external website we have over 3 gigabytes of books, articles, white papers, source material, photographs, and other items in the private Assets & Archives area. These are not strictly surname-specific, so there'll be a smattering of various things, but all are germane in some way to Threlkeld history.

Each week, generally on the weekend, I'll select one file (public domain or republication permitted) and offer it from the Study's WikiTree Space page. The link to the file will only be valid during the time it's posted, so don't bookmark it for later reference; you'll get a 404 "File No Found" error. If you'd like to keep the file, right-click on the link and choose to "Save Link As" or "Save Target As."

21 NOV 2018 — I received my sample collection kit today from Dante Labs for a Whole-Genome Sequencing (WGS) test with 30X coverage (resolution). It will likely be around 16-18 weeks before results are available, and I'll be ordering the optional 500GB external hard drive so that I can have the raw data in BAM and FASTQ file format. The phenomenal sale price was $199; previously, the least expensive price I'd seen for a similar test was over $500, and typically $700 or more when no special sales were in progress. WGS testing coming down in price to these levels has the potential to significantly change the landscape of DNA testing for genealogy. Remember when 23andMe introduced the first autosomal chip-based test in 2007 at $999?

I'll be updating the Study as I learn more along the way. You can visit Dante Labs at their US website or EU website for more information. If in the US, you can purchase a Prime-eligible test kit directly from, as I did.

16 JUN 2018The Guild of One-Name Studies reviewed the Threlkeld Study and had Family Tree DNA add the Guild logo to the Threlkeld Surname DNA Project. The logo now appears on the project listings page, and on the Threlkeld Project's "join" page. The more validation, the more DNA participants we might get. I'm itching for the day when we have enough yDNA testers within related groupings for me to start posting some Fluxus Network phylograms of the likely inheritance chains.

30 MAY 2018 — This notification affects members of the Threlkeld Surname DNA Project at Family Tree DNA (FTDNA); it does not affect those who only participate on WikiTree or at the Threlkeld One-Name Study.

Last Friday, May 25, FTDNA revised their terms of service and updated their privacy policy. You can view that notification here. Accompanying this were successful changes to some of the options available to Threlkeld DNA Project members in their personal myFTDNA account dashboards.

An email was sent today to all DNA Project members describing suggested settings to maximize use of Project communication, matching, and collaboration. If you did not receive that letter and would like a copy, please contact me and I will forward it to you.

You can explore the FTDNA help pages that show the new setting options at these links:

  • Login to request to the join the Trusted List so that you can edit and add images.
  • Private Messages: Contact the Profile Managers privately: One Name Studies WikiTree and Edison Williams. (Best when privacy is an issue.)
  • Public Comments: Login to post. (Best for messages specifically directed to those editing this profile. Limit 20 per day.)
  • Public Q&A: These will appear above and in the Genealogist-to-Genealogist (G2G) Forum. (Best for anything directed to the wider genealogy community.)

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