Anglo-Saxon name Turnhill comes from when the family resided in the parish of Thornhill in the county of Yorkshire. The surname Turnhill is a habitation name that was originally derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. The surname originated as a means of identifying individuals from a particular area. In the Middle Ages people often assumed the name of the place that they originally lived as their surname during the course of travel. As a general rule, the greater the distance between an individual and their homeland, the larger the territory they were named after. For example, a person who only moved to another parish would be known by the name of their original village, while people who migrated to a different country were often known by the name of a region or country from which they came.
Early Origins of the Turnhill family
Yorkshire at Thornhill where they trace their descent from "Gerneber, a noble Saxon who possessed large tracts of land before the Conquest in 1066. " CITATION[CLOSE]
Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print. "This place was the seat of the Thornhill family, for many generations proprietors of the manor. " CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print. Fixby in the West Riding of Yorkshire was another ancient family seat. "This place, called in Domesday Book Feslei, was at an early period the property of a family to whom it gave name; it afterwards passed to the Toothills, and from them, by marriage, to the ancient family of Thornhill, of whom mention occurs in 1577 as holding lands of Queen Elizabeth in Fekisby, as of her demesne of Wakefield." CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print. ". In the 15th of Edward II., John de Thornhill held the manor [of Foulridge, Lancashire]; and by marriage with his daughter, Sir Henry Saville became possessed of the property in 1404." CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
Early History of the Turnhill family
Another 123 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1330, 1675 and 1734 are included under the topic Early Turnhill History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Turnhill Spelling Variations
spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Turnhill has been recorded under many different variations, including Thornhill, Thornhull, Thornall, Thornehill, Thornell and many more.
Early Notables of the Turnhill family (pre 1700)
Another 23 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Turnhill Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Turnhill family to Ireland
Some of the Turnhill family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 45 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Turnhill family to the New World and Oceana
For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Turnhill or a variant listed above: Nancy Thornhill settled in Fortune, Newfoundland, in 1817; William Thornall settled in Brunett Island Newfoundland in 1829; Ben Thornhill settled in New England in 1771.
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