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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: English, Scottish

Where did the Scottish Turnbough family come from? What is the Scottish Turnbough family crest and coat of arms? When did the Turnbough family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Turnbough family history?

An ancient Scottish tribe called the Boernicians were the ancestors of the first people to use the surname Turnbough. It is a name for a man named Rule (sometimes Ruel) who saved King Robert the Bruce at Stirling Park from a charging bull by turning the bull's head. According to tradition, the King rewarded Rule with lands in Bedrule, and instructed him to change his name to Turnbull. This same man, Rule, is said to have served at the Battle of Halidon Hill in 1333, against the English. Rule preceded the Scottish Army into battle with a huge black dog, and challenged any Englishman to fight him. Sir Robert Venal of Norfolk accepted his challenge and killed both Rule and his dog. While the account of the fight is most certainly true and well documented, the legend behind the name Turnbull is questionable.

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Spelling rules only evolved in the last few centuries with the invention of the printing press and the first dictionaries. Spelling variations are extremely common in names from before that period. Turnbough has been spelled Turnbull, Turnball, Trimble, Trimbell, Trumbell, Trumbill, Turnbul and many more.

First found in Roxburghshire. Referring to the aforementioned Rule reference, there was a noble family of Rule, which derived its name from the Water of Rule, an affluent of the Teviot. This family dates back to 1214 when King William the Lion of Scotland granted lands to Alan de Rule. If the bull episode is true, then the bearer was either Adam de Rule or Thomas de Rule, the two Rule chieftains who appeared on the Ragman Rolls in 1296, just after the Stirling Park affair. Later, King Robert the Bruce did in fact grant lands in the west of Fulhophalche to William Turnbull in 1315. King David II also granted the lands of Humdallwalschop (now Hundleshop) to John Turnbull.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Turnbough research. Another 460 words(33 lines of text) covering the years 1214, 1296, 1315, 1329, 1333, 1400, 1447, 1450, and 1545 are included under the topic Early Turnbough History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 32 words(2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Turnbough Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Turnbough family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 243 words(17 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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After making their great crossing, many Boernician-Scottish families settled along the east coast of North America. When the War of Independence broke out, United Empire Loyalists moved north to Canada while the rest stayed to fight. The ancestors of many of these Scots still populate the continent. This century, through Clan societies and other Scottish organizations, they began to rediscover their collective national heritage. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Turnbough or a variant listed above: Alexander Turnbull, who settled in East New Jersey in 1684; Thomas Turnbul, a Scottish prisoner sent to New Jersey in America in 1685; James Turnbull, who arrived in Charles Town [Charleston], South Carolina in 1734.

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  1. Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Glasgow: Harper Collins, 1995. Print.
  2. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  3. Martine, Roddy, Roderick Martine and Don Pottinger. Scottish Clan and Family Names Their Arms, Origins and Tartans. Edinburgh: Mainstream, 1992. Print.
  4. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  5. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  6. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  7. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and David Hicks. The Highland Clans The Dynastic Origins, Cheifs and Background of the Clans. New York: C.N. Potter, 1968. Print.
  8. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  9. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  10. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry Including American Families with British Ancestry 2 Volumes. London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  11. ...

The Turnbough Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Turnbough Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 27 October 2010 at 14:02.

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