Phil, Thanks for your reply. Nice idea but thorpe is a really common part of village names in East Yorkshire and I think that we are looking for a connection with just the Low part of the surname. This could be a name or it could relate to the meaning of Low which is still used in parts of Britain to mean hill. I am also intrigued by the lack of Lowthrops, Lowthorps and the apparently American derivatives Lothrop/Lathrop in Britain. It is an easy name to trace in the National records as it only occurs every few years, as opposed to the pages of smiths that occur in every volume. I have yet to see the States version over here.