Show ContentsTurfrey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Turfrey name was originally an Anglo-Saxon name that was given to a person who worked as the palfreyman, who was in charge of the palfreys or colts. [1] This occupational surname was first derived from the Old French word parfrement which referred to the individual who saddled horses for women. [2] The term palfrey usually referred to the most expensive and highly-bred types of riding horse during the Middle Ages. [3]

One source presumes the family came from Normandy as Richard, Roger Palfrei or Palefridus were listed in Normandy (1180-1195.) [4]

Early Origins of the Turfrey family

The surname Turfrey was first found in Hampshire where Hunfridus Palefrei was listed at Winton in 1148. Later Ralph Palefray was listed at Boldon in 1183. [3]

Proving the widespread use of this occupational name, the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 included: Thomas Palfrei, Lincolnshire; Richard Palefray, Salop (Shropshire); Gilbert Palfrey, Norfolk; and John Palefrey, Norfolk. [2]

Chaucer in his Knight's Tale notes "And to the paleis rode titer many a route Of lordes, upon stedes and palfreis."

Early History of the Turfrey family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Turfrey research. Another 177 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1148, 1200, 1321, 1359, 1411, 1667, 1668, 1589, 1589, 1586, 1633, 1636, 1651, 1637, 1638, 1662, 1665 and 1685 are included under the topic Early Turfrey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Turfrey Spelling Variations

Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Turfrey has undergone many spelling variations, including Palfrey, Palfry, Palfreyer, Palfreyman and others.

Early Notables of the Turfrey family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include Thomas Palfreyman (died 1589?) was an English author and musician. He was a "gentleman of the chapel royal, together with Tallis, Farrant, Hunnis, and other well-known musicians in Edward VI's reign. He continued in office till 1589, apparently the year of his death. John Parkhurst, the Bishop of Norwich, addressed an epigram to Palfreyman and Robert Couch conjointly, and complimented them on their proficiency alike in music and theology. Palfreyman seems to have lived in the parish of St. Peter, Cornhill. One...
Another 90 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Turfrey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Turfrey family to Ireland

Some of the Turfrey family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Australia Turfrey migration to Australia +

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

Turfrey Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Turfrey, (b. 1809), aged 24, English convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for life for stealing, transported aboard the "Aurora" on 3rd November 1833, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, he died in 1848 [5]
  • Mr. William Edward Turfrey who was convicted in Oxford, Oxfordshire, England for 10 years for burglary, transported aboard the "David Malcolm" on 13th May 1845, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) and Norfolk Island, he died in 1904 [6]

  1. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. 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)
  5. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 20th August 2020). Retrieved from
  6. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 21st June 2021). Retrieved from on Facebook