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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Origins Available: English, Scottish

Where did the English Turnbull family come from? What is the English Turnbull family crest and coat of arms? When did the Turnbull family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Turnbull family history?

According to family tradition, the Turnbull 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."

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

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.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Turnbull research. Another 543 words(39 lines of text) covering the years 1214, 1249, 1296, 1335, 1447, 1639 and 1716 are included under the topic Early Turnbull History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 47 words(3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Turnbull Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Turnbull family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 135 words(10 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Turnbull Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Alexander Turnbull, who settled in East New Jersey in 1684
  • Thomas and William Turnbull settled in New Jersey in 1685
  • William Turnbull, who arrived in Perth Amboy, NJ in 1685

Turnbull Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • James Turnbull, who arrived in Charles Town [Charleston], South Carolina in 1734
  • John Turnbull settled in Annapolis, Maryland in 1753
  • George Turnbull, who settled in New York in 1756
  • Andrew Turnbull, who arrived in America in 1766
  • Ann Turnbull, aged 23, landed in Savanna(h), Georgia in 1774


Turnbull Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Gavin Turnbull, aged 46, landed in South Carolina in 1812
  • George Turnbull, aged 51, arrived in New York in 1812
  • Gavin Turnbull, who settled in South Carolina in 1812
  • Adam Turnbull, aged 38, arrived in Delaware in 1812
  • Joseph Turnbull, who landed in Charleston, South Carolina in 1823


Turnbull Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • William Turnbull settled in Bonavista, Newfoundland in 1765
  • Foster Turnbull, who came to Halifax, NS in 1774
  • Foster Turnbull, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1774
  • Donald Turnbull, who settled in Prince Edward Island in 1775
  • Thomas Turnbull, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1783


Turnbull Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Euphemia Turnbull, who settled in Nova Scotia in 1818
  • Joanna Turnbull, aged 40, arrived in Saint John, NB aboard the ship "Lady Campbell" in 1834
  • Robert Turnbull, who landed in Esquimalt, British Columbia in 1862

Turnbull Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • William Turnbull, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Agamemnon" on April 22, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • Isaac Turnbull, a farrier, arrived in New South Wales, Australia sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Archibald Turnbull, a dyer, arrived in New South Wales, Australia sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Janet Turnbull, Scottish convict from Edinburgh, who was transported aboard the "Amphitrite" on August 21, 1833, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • John Turnbull arrived in Kangaroo Island aboard the ship "Tam O'Shanter" in 1836


Turnbull Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Dr Turnbull landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1842 aboard the ship London
  • George Turnbull, aged 25, a farm labourer, arrived in Otago aboard the ship "Philip Laing" in 1848
  • William Turnbull arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Adelaide" in 1858
  • John Turnbull arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Gertrude" in 1863
  • Jane Turnbull arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Gertrude" in 1863


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  • Walter Turnbull (1944-2007), American musician and the founder of the internationally renowned Boys Choir of Harlem
  • Colin Macmillan Turnbull (1924-1994), famous British-American anthropologist
  • Ven. John Turnbull (b. 1950), English pop and rock guitarist/vocalist
  • Oswald Turnbull (1890-1970), British Olympian tennis player
  • Ann Turnbull (b. 1943), British writer of fiction for children
  • Bill Turnbull (b. 1956), British television presenter
  • Bob Turnbull (1894-1946), Scottish footballer
  • Charles Wesley Turnbull (b. 1935), 26th Governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands
  • Eddie Turnbull (b. 1923), Scottish football player and manager
  • William Turnbull (b. 1922), Scottish artist

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  • American Beginnings by David B. Trimble.
  • The Texas Turnbo's by Charles Alton Turnbo.
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  1. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  2. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  3. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  4. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  5. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  6. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  7. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  8. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  9. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  10. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  11. ...

The Turnbull Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Turnbull Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 20 May 2015 at 01:23.

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