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

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

The name Turpin reached English shores for the first time with the ancestors of the Turpin family as they migrated following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Turpin family lived in Dorset. Their name, however, is a reference to Turpin Au Boas, Normandy, the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066.

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Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Turpin family name include Turpine, Torpin, Turpin, Turbin, Turping, Tirping, Tirpin, Terpin, Turpen and many more.

First found in Dorset where they were granted lands by William the Conqueror for their assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D. They held estates and a barony at Turpin Au Boas in Normandy. One of the first on record was Walter Turpin who was Lord of the manor in 1202.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Turpin research. Another 247 words(18 lines of text) covering the years 1619, 1705, and 1739 are included under the topic Early Turpin History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Turpin Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Turpin family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 129 words(9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Turpin family to immigrate North America:

Turpin Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • John Turpin who settled in Barbados in 1635
  • Hugh Turpin, who landed in Virginia in 1663
  • James Turpin, who arrived in Virginia in 1664
  • Henry Turpin settled in Barbados in 1680 with his son and servants

Turpin Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • John Turpin settled in New England in 1750
  • Richard Turpin, who landed in America in 1783

Turpin Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • John Turpin, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1837
  • John Turpin settled at St. Lawrence in 1871

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  • James Clifford Turpin (1886-1966), American pioneer aviator for the Wright Brothers
  • Bernard "Ben" Turpin (1869-1940), American cross-eyed silent film comedian and actor
  • Will Turpin, American singer/musician
  • Thomas Million John Turpin (1871-1922), African-American ragtime composer
  • Melvin Harrison "Mel" Turpin (1960-2010), American professional basketball player
  • Kenneth Turpin (1915-2005), English historian, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford
  • Randolph Turpin (1925-1966), English boxer
  • Richard "Dick" Turpin (1705-1739), English highwayman, member of the Essex gang, whose exploits were romanticised following his execution for horse theft, eponym of Turpin's Cave, his hiding place
  • Randolph Adolphus "Randy" Turpin (1928-1966), English boxer famous in the 1940s and 1950s from Leamington Spa
  • Mr. William John Robert Turpin (d. 1912), aged 29, English Second Class passenger from Plymouth, Devon who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking

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  1. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  2. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  3. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  4. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  5. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  6. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  7. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  8. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  9. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  10. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  11. ...

The Turpin Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Turpin 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 12 February 2014 at 17:05.

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