Show ContentsTerwilliger History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Terwilliger surname comes from the place name Trewhitt in Northumberland; the first bearer of this surname was most likely someone who had come from that place to a new location.

Early Origins of the Terwilliger family

The surname Terwilliger was first found in Northumberland where the original reference of the name was found at High Trewhitt, and Low Trewhitt, townships, in the parish and union of Rothbury.

Originally named Tirwit (c. 1150-1162), the name possibly meant "river-bend where wood is obtained" 1 These small townships have grown little in size since early times as late as the mid 1800s, there were only 130 inhabitants there.

But looking back, other records show Sir Herculus de Trywhitt was knighted by Duke William in 1068 and granted the lands of Tyrwhitt or Terwit, however there is no record of the place in the Domesday Book.

Later John de Tyrwyt was listed in the Assize Rolls of Northumberland in 1296 and William Tyrwhit was listed in there in 1383. 2 The parish of Stainfield in Lincolnshire was an ancient homestead of the family. "There are some remains of an ancient mansion of the Tyrwhitt family, now occupied as a farmhouse." 3

Early History of the Terwilliger family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Terwilliger research. Another 209 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1428, 1577, 1598, 1611, 1624, 1628, 1633, 1663, 1667, 1688, 1708, 1730, 1741, 1760, 1786, 1808 and 1919 are included under the topic Early Terwilliger History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Terwilliger Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Trywhitt, Terwitt, Trewitt, Trewhitt, Truitt, Terwit, Truet and many more.

Early Notables of the Terwilliger family

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir Philip Tyrwhitt, 1st Baronet (d. 1624) of Stainfield in Lincolnshire; Sir Edward Tyrwhitt, 2nd Baronet (1577-1628); Sir Philip Tyrwhitt, 3rd Baronet (1598-c. 1667); Sir...
Another 32 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Terwilliger Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Terwilliger Ranking

In the United States, the name Terwilliger is the 8,020th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. 4

United States Terwilliger migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Terwilliger Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • P Terwilliger, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 5

Contemporary Notables of the name Terwilliger (post 1700) +

  • Willard Wayne Terwilliger (1925-2021), nicknamed "Twig", an American Major League Baseball second baseman who played nine seasons between 1949 and 1960
  • Brian J. Terwilliger, American motion picture producer /director
  • George J Terwilliger (b. 1950), American lawyer and politician
  • John Richard Terwilliger (b. 1957), former American competitive rower and Olympic silver medalist
  • Richard Martin Terwilliger (1906-1969), American pitcher in Major League Baseball
  • Terwilliger "Ron" Ronald (b. 1941), American Chief Executive Officer of Trammell Crow Residential
  • George Terwilliger (1882-1970), American film director and screenwriter of silent and early sound-era films
  • Terwilliger "Ron" Ronald (b. 1941), American Chief Executive Officer of Trammell Crow Residential

The Terwilliger Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Time tryeth truth
Motto Translation: Time tests faith

  1. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  5. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8) on Facebook