Threlkeld Name Study

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Surnames/tags: Threlkeld Thrailkill Thurlkill
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Categories: Threlkeld Name Study | One Name Studies | DNA Projects.



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.

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. To get started, 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. 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.

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

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 another 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.

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.

Summary of Relevant Links

  •, 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

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:

Images: 2
Threlkeld One-Name Study
Threlkeld One-Name Study

Guild of One-Name Studies, Small Logo
Guild of One-Name Studies, Small Logo