Terrington History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Terrington family

The surname Terrington was first found in Devon where they held a family seat from very ancient times where there are no fewer than three towns and villages by that name: Black Torrington, Great Torrington and Little Torrington. The place names were collectively listed as Tori(n)tona [1] in the Domesday Book of 1086 but by 1219 the village was known as Blaketorrintun which later evolved into Black Torrington. Great Torrington has historically been the largest and most historical of the parishes.

"The name of this place is derived from its situation on the river Torridge; and its antiquity as a market-town is evident from various old records, in which it occurs under the appellation of Cheping-Toriton. At a very early period it gave the title of Baron to its lords, who had the power of life and death throughout the lordship." [2]

Great Torrington was the site of the Battle of Torrington on February 16, 1646 between the Royalists and the Parliamentarians. HMS Torrington was a 32-gun fifth rate launched in 1676. The surname is conjecturally descended from Roger who held lands from the Norman Baron Ralph of Pomeroy. Thorington is a village and a civil parish in the hundred of Blything, in Suffolk.

And it is here in Devon, that we find the first records of the family, specifically, William de Torinton, who appeared in the Pipe Rolls of 1218. [3]

The Thorington variant hails from either Suffolk or Essex where parishes can be found. [4] [5] Torentuna was the name of the Suffolk parish in the Domesday Book of 1086 [1] and it literally meant "thorn-tree enclosure or farmstead," from the Old English "thorn" or "thyrne" + "tun. [6] The Essex village is now known by the name Thorrington, but in Domesday times, it was known as Torinduna [1] and later in 1202 as Torritona. [6]

A search through early rolls discovered Roger de Thorington, Cambridgeshire in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 and in the Testa de Nevill, sive Liber Feodorum, temp. Henry III-Edward I, we found William de Thorinton, Devon, Henry III-Edward I. The same rolls revealed Robert de Thorinton, Lancashire. [7]

Early History of the Terrington family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Terrington research. Another 52 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 164 and 1645 are included under the topic Early Terrington History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Terrington Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Torrington, Torrinton, Torring and others.

Early Notables of the Terrington family (pre 1700)

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


Australia Terrington migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Terrington Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Samuel Terrington, (b. 1797), aged 39, English shoe maker who was convicted in Norfolk, England for 14 years for larceny, transported aboard the "Eden" on 27th August 1836, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land), he died in 1894 [8]

Contemporary Notables of the name Terrington (post 1700) +

  • Terry Terrington, American makeup artist, active in the 1950s
  • Kit Terrington (b. 1942), English actor from Brentford, Middlesex, England, known for The Secret of the Forest (1956), Escapade (1955) and The Reluctant Bride (1955)
  • Dr. John Stanley Terrington (1903-1987), British civil engineer known for his writings on the use of concrete in construction in the mid twentieth century


  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  5. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  6. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  7. ^ Testa de Nevill or "Liber Feodorum" or "Book of Fees," thought to have been written by Ralph de Nevill, for King John (1199–1216)
  8. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 20th October 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/eden


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