The English surname Thurston is of patronymic origin being derived from from a medieval personal name, Old Norse þórsteinn, composed of the elements þórr, the name of the Scandinavian god of thunder (see Thor) + steinn meaning “stone, or rock,” hence “altar of Thor” or “hammer of Thor.” The name may also be an habitational name from Thurston in Suffolk. The first record of the name is in 1121 when Osward de Turstun is registered in the Feudal documents of the Abbey of Bury, Suffolk. The earliest record in the New World is in 1703 when James Thurston arrived in Virginia from England. Today there are approximately 15,000 bearers of the name Thurston living in the US.
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