Recorded as Thrasher and Thresher, this is an English surname of great antiquity. It is occupational and originates from the Olde English word 'pryscere' meaning to beat or thrash, and used in a transferred sense to describe the action of removing the corn from the stalk. In medieval times and earlier, this was one of the most important of all agricultural occupations. It was said that a good thresher would save a crop which might otherwise be a failure, and hence could bring starvation to the local community. Occupational surnames were amongst the earliest to be created. Hower they did not usually become hereditary unless a son followed the father into the same line of business. This also helps to explain why the patronymic forms of surnames are sometimes more popular than the original spelliing, although not with this name. Indeed there does not seem to be a surviving patronymic. The earliest known recording is probably that of Robert le Thressher of Somerset. This was in the register known as 'Kirby's Quest' for the year 1273, and Richardus Thescher in the Poll Tax Rolls of Yorks in 1379.