Turnball History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

According to family tradition, the Turnball surname comes from when a member of the Rule family saved the life of King Robert the Bruce at Stirling Park from a charging bull by turning the bull's head. The grateful King decreed that in commemoration of the brave act the new name of the family would be Turnbull, and granted them an area of land then known as Bedrule. Other Etymology suggests that the name comes from the Old English Trumbald, meaning "strongly bold."

Early Origins of the Turnball family

The surname Turnball was first found in Roxburghshire where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Scotland to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.

Early History of the Turnball family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Turnball research. Another 272 words (19 lines of text) covering the years 1214, 1249, 1296, 1335, 1447, 1635, 1639, 1716 and are included under the topic Early Turnball History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Turnball Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Turnbull, Turnball, Trimble, Trimbell, Trumbell, Trumbill, Turnbul and many more.

Early Notables of the Turnball family (pre 1700)

Another 48 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Turnball Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Turnball family to Ireland

Some of the Turnball family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 74 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


New Zealand Turnball migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Turnball Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. R. Turnball, Scottish settler travelling from Clyde aboard the ship "Robert Henderson" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 5th October 1861 [1]
  • Mrs. Elizabeth Turnball, (b. 1830), aged 45, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Earl of Zetland" arriving in Port Chalmers, Otago, New Zealand on 3rd June 1875 [2]

Contemporary Notables of the name Turnball (post 1700) +

  • Mr. David Norman Turnball B.E.M., British recipient of Medallist of the British Empire Medal 29th December 2018 for voluntary service to the community in Peebles [3]


  1. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  2. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  3. ^ "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62507, 28 December 2018 | London Gazette, The Gazette, Dec. 2018, www.thegazette.co.uk/honours-lists


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