Turpin History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Turpin reached English shores for the first time with the ancestors of the Turpin family as they migrated following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Turpin family lived in Dorset. Their name, however, is a reference to Turpin Au Bois, Normandy, [1] the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. Alternatively, the name could have been derived from the French name Turpinus, a derivative of the Latin 'turpis,' meaning 'disgraceful,' a name adopted by the early Christians as a token of humility. [2]

Early Origins of the Turpin family

The surname Turpin was first found in Dorset but was quickly found in Yorkshire shortly after the Norman Conquest. One of the first records of the name was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Torfin or Turfin. [3]

Turfinus filius Torfini was listed in the Pipe Rolls of Yorkshire in 1130 as was Torphinus in the same rolls in 1196. A few years later, Gaufridus filius Thorphini was listed in the Curia Regis Rolls of 1204. [2]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list John Turpin in Oxfordshire. [4] Whitchester in Northumberland was home to a branch of the family. "This place was for ages the possession of the Turpin family." [5]

Richard "Dick" Turpin (1705-1739), the infamous English highwayman who was executed on 22 March 1739 for his deeds was inspiration for many English ballads, theatre and films hailed from Hempstead, Essex. Ironically, Turpin was never convicted of being a highwayman or a murderer. He was convicted of being a horse-rustler and that led to his execution.

Early History of the Turpin family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Turpin research. Another 83 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1619 and are included under the topic Early Turpin History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Turpin Spelling Variations

Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Turpin family name include Turpine, Torpin, Turpin, Turbin, Turping, Tirping, Tirpin, Terpin, Turpen and many more.

Early Notables of the Turpin family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Turpin Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Turpin family to Ireland

Some of the Turpin family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 59 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Turpin migration to the United States +

To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Turpin family to immigrate North America:

Turpin Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Turpin who settled in Barbados in 1635
  • Hugh Turpin, who landed in Virginia in 1663 [6]
  • James Turpin, who arrived in Virginia in 1664 [6]
  • Henry Turpin, who settled in Barbados in 1680 with his son and servants
Turpin Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Turpin, who settled in New England in 1750
  • Richard Turpin, who landed in America in 1783 [6]
Turpin Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Turpin, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1837 [6]
  • John Turpin settled at St. Lawrence in 1871

Canada Turpin migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Turpin Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Sarah Turpin, who settled in Bay Bulls, Newfoundland in 1780 [7]
Turpin Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Michael Turpin was scalped by Red Indians at Sandy Cove, now Tilton, Newfoundland in 1809 [7]
  • Mr. William Turpin, (b. 1835), aged 20, Cornish labourer departing from Falmouth destined for Quebec, Canada aboard the ship "Barque John" on 3rd May 1855 which sank after striking the reef, he survived the sinking [8]

Australia Turpin migration to Australia +

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

Turpin Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Adam Turpin, English convict from Cambridge, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on October 22nd, 1824, settling in New South Wales, Australia [9]
  • James Turpin, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Phoebe" in 1847 [10]

New Zealand Turpin 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:

Turpin Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • William Turpin, aged 36, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bombay" in 1865
  • Ann Turpin, aged 34, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bombay" in 1865
  • J. Turpin, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Crownthorpe" in 1876
  • Elizabeth Turpin, aged 17, a servant, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "British Queen" in 1883

Contemporary Notables of the name Turpin (post 1700) +

  • Melvin Harrison "Mel" Turpin (1960-2010), American professional basketball player
  • Thomas Million John Turpin (1871-1922), African-American ragtime composer
  • Bernard "Ben" Turpin (1869-1940), American cross-eyed silent film comedian and actor
  • James Clifford Turpin (1886-1966), American pioneer aviator for the Wright Brothers
  • Will Turpin, American singer/musician
  • William Turpin, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Missouri, 1956 [11]
  • White Turpin, American politician, Member of Mississippi territorial House of Representatives, 1809 [11]
  • Thomas J. Turpin, American Democrat politician, Member of Maryland State House of Delegates from Wicomico County, 1878 [11]
  • Louis Washington Turpin (1849-1903), American Democrat politician, U.S. Representative from Alabama, 1889-95 [11]
  • James Turpin, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Virginia, 2008 [11]
  • ... (Another 9 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Empress of Ireland
  • Mr. Richard Turpin, Canadian Second Class Passenger from Toronto, Ontario, Canada who survived the sinking on the Empress of Ireland [12]
RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. Thomas Keith Turpin, Canadian 2nd Class passenger from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking [13]
  • Mrs. Maud Adelaide Otway Turpin, Canadian 2nd Class passenger from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking [13]
RMS Titanic
  • Mr. William John Robert Turpin (d. 1912), aged 29, English Second Class passenger from Plymouth, Devon who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [14]
  • Mrs. Dorothy Ann Turpin (d. 1912), (née Wonnacott), aged 27, English Second Class passenger from Plymouth, Devon who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [14]


  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. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  4. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  6. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  7. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  8. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/wreck_of_emigrant_ship_john_1855.pdf
  9. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1824 with 9 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1824
  10. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) PHOEBE 1847. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1847Phoebe.htm
  11. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 7) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  12. ^ Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 17) . Retrieved from http://www.empress2014.ca/seclangen/listepsc1.html
  13. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 6) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/
  14. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html


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