Recorded in several spellings including Thorburn, Thorbon, Thurbon and Thurborn, this surname is English. It is a derivation from the ancient Norse (pre 7th Century) personal name 'Thor-biorn'. This originates from the gods name 'Thor' as in the modern weekday 'Thursday', and 'biorn', a warrior. The Vikings and the Anglo - Saxons were very keen on these compounds, as were the eleventh century Norman's, who themselves were of Scandinavian origins, and jokingly known as 'The walking Vikings'. This all round international popularity accounts for the survival of the name into the later 'surname' period, when many 'Olde English' baptismal names were lost. The early name recordings include 'Thurbernus' and 'Turbern' found in the Domesday Book for 1086, whilst one of the first recognizable examples of the original name as a surname is that of William Thurbern, in the 1221 register of the Warwickshire Assize Court. Other examples include Richard Thurubern at Ely Abbey in 1277, Richard Thorburn in the 1279 Hundred Rolls of Oxford, and Walter Turbon at Cambridge in 1295. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Rycharde Turbern, which was dated 1198, in the Feet of Fines Roll of the county of Norfolk, during the reign of King Richard 1st. He was known as 'The Lionheart', and reigned 1189 - 1199. Throughout the centuries surnames in every country have continued to "develop", often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.