The name of SILVERTHORNE comes from the Old English name of SEOLFERTHORN and means the family that lived by the silver or white thorn tree. Family tradition holds that the name refers to the particular thorn tree, known as the Holy Thorn of Glastonbury, that was planted by Joseph of Arimathaea, Uncle of the Virgin Mary.
An interesting legend handed down by tradition through the generations of the Silverthorne family, connects both the family and the origin of the name with one of the miracles of the early Christian Church. According to this legend the first Christian Church in England was founded by St. Joseph of Arimathaea and his 12 apostles, at Glastonbury, County of Somerset about 30-33 A.D. When Joseph and his followers were threatened by the natives, he is said to have planted his staff of thornwood in the earth as he lifted up his voice in prayer. The staff burst into leaf and bloom and all nature put on the garb of spring, although the date was December 25th .... the first Christ-Mass ever held in England. The "Holy" thorn thus springing from Joseph's staff became famous throughout England.
St. Joseph of Arimathaea was a merchant who obtained his wealth by trading tin and lead between Somerset and Cornwall and Phoencia. He erected a small modest church which was later replaced by a solid structure and presented to the brotherhood. Glastonbury Abbey was one of the oldest and most magnificent ecclesiastical institutions in England, regarded as the FIRST hallowed spot--the very Zion of the Christian Church in England. Glastonbury's remnants contain a tomb said to be that of King Arthur and Queen Guinevere, also one legend claims St. Patrick is buried there too.
The publication of the three volume HISTORY OF THE SILVERTHORN FAMILY in 1982 by the Silverthorn(e) Family Association has initiated further research of the parish records in Wiltshire and Somerset Counties, England. It is noted that the surname probably dates from the 12th century as it is not mentioned in the Book of Domesday of 1086 A.D.
WILLIAM SILVERTHORN is suggested as being the father of JOHN (below), and that John Silverthorn, Vicar of the Church of St. Martin, was a probable brother.
#1 ca 1480, Avice Hobbys of West Amesbury
daughter of Thomas Hobbys
Avice was b. ca 1460, died by 1517
#2 Margaret _____?_____. Margaret buried 17 October 1538
|Died||buried at Steeple Ashton, Wiltshire, on 12 October 1538|
John & Avice
b. 1493 Wilts, England
m. Jane Palmer, ca 1515-1520
daughter of John Palmer
buried 16 October 1538
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