Show ContentsTerpin History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Terpin was brought to England in the wave of migration that followed the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Terpin family lived in Dorset. Their name, however, is a reference to Turpin Au Bois, Normandy, [1] the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. Alternatively, the name could have been derived from the French name Turpinus, a derivative of the Latin 'turpis,' meaning 'disgraceful,' a name adopted by the early Christians as a token of humility. [2]

Early Origins of the Terpin family

The surname Terpin was first found in Dorset but was quickly found in Yorkshire shortly after the Norman Conquest. One of the first records of the name was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Torfin or Turfin. [3]

Turfinus filius Torfini was listed in the Pipe Rolls of Yorkshire in 1130 as was Torphinus in the same rolls in 1196. A few years later, Gaufridus filius Thorphini was listed in the Curia Regis Rolls of 1204. [2]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list John Turpin in Oxfordshire. [4] Whitchester in Northumberland was home to a branch of the family. "This place was for ages the possession of the Turpin family." [5]

Richard "Dick" Turpin (1705-1739), the infamous English highwayman who was executed on 22 March 1739 for his deeds was inspiration for many English ballads, theatre and films hailed from Hempstead, Essex. Ironically, Turpin was never convicted of being a highwayman or a murderer. He was convicted of being a horse-rustler and that led to his execution.

Early History of the Terpin family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Terpin research. Another 83 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1619 and are included under the topic Early Terpin History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Terpin Spelling Variations

Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Turpine, Torpin, Turpin, Turbin, Turping, Tirping, Tirpin, Terpin, Turpen and many more.

Early Notables of the Terpin family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Terpin Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Terpin family to Ireland

Some of the Terpin family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 59 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Terpin family

Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Terpin or a variant listed above: John Turpin who settled in Barbados in 1635; John Turpine settled in New Jersey in 1685; sometimes called Turpnie; Henry Turpin settled in Barbados in 1680 with his son and servants.

  1. 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)
  2. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  4. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print. on Facebook