Toorvill History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Toorvill was carried to England in the enormous movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Toorvill family lived in Leicestershire. Their name, however, is a reference to Turville-la-Champagne, Normandy and from Turville (one of nine Seigneuries that bear the name in Normandy) near Pont-Audemer. The name is "derived from Torf de Torfville, from whom descended Geoffrey de Turville 1124, who had grants from the Earl of Leicester and Mellent in England." [1]

"Raoul de Tourneville is on the Dives Roll; and Roger de Turville held Weston-Turville, Bucks, of Bishop Odo [2]. Another manor in the county is called from him Turville. In Leicestershire they are 'one of the ancientest families in the shire'; seated at Normanton-Turville from the time of Henry II., and still flourishing in a junior branch at Husbands Bosworth in the same county." [3]

However, some believe the name is Anglo Saxon in origin, and meant 'dry field'. In the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle the name was recorded in 796 as Thyrefeld. Regardless of the origin, Ralph Turvill, a benefactor of the abbey of Leicester was the first record of the name in 1297.

Early Origins of the Toorvill family

The surname Toorvill was first found in Leicestershire where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Herdebere, Pailington, Bedworth, Chelmscote, Fulbrooke, and Nuneaton. Normanton Turvile was their main seat. William de Turvile, a companion in arms of Duke William at the Battle of Hastings in 1066, was the first settler. William was descended from the Turville-la-Champagne, seated at Eure, at Amfreville-la-Champagne.

Another source has a slightly more romantic understanding of their origin: "from which of the ten Seigniories of Tourville in the Duchy of Normandy the English Turviles came, cannot now he ascertained. Certain it is that William de Tourville accompanied Duke William to Hastings, and that soon after the Conquest, the Tourvilles became extensive proprietors in the counties of Warwick and Leicester, giving in the latter their name to the manor of Normanton Turvile." [4]

In Buckinghamshire, the manor of Turville once belonged to the abbey at St Albans, but was seized by the Crown in the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1547. The manor house has since been rebuilt as Turville Park, a fine stately home in the village of Turville.

Early History of the Toorvill family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Toorvill research. Another 196 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1235, 1297, 1400, 1296, 1315, 1288, 1291, 1293, 1277, 1289, 1250, 1122 and 1177 are included under the topic Early Toorvill History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Toorvill Spelling Variations

Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Turvile, Turville, Tourville, Tourvile, Turvell, Turvill, Turvil and many more.

Early Notables of the Toorvill family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was William de Turvile, of Weston Turville, Buckinghamshire, High Sheriff of Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire in 1288 and later in 1291. Later Nicolas de Trimenel or de Turvile was High Sheriff in 1293. Robert Turvile was a Knights Templar and was Master of the Temple of...
Another 52 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Toorvill Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Toorvill family

To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Toorvill or a variant listed above: Ann Turvel who landed in North America in 1771.



The Toorvill 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: Virtus semper eadem
Motto Translation: Virtue is always the same.


  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. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 3 of 3
  4. ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.


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