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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

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

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]


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.

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] 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 and hailed from Hempstead, Essex. Ironically, Turpin was never convicted of being a highwayman or a murderer. However, he was convicted of being a horse-rustler and that led to his execution.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Turpin research. Another 167 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 161 and 1619 are included under the topic Early Turpin History in all our PDF Extended History products.


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


Some of the Turpin family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 105 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


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
  • James Turpin, who arrived in Virginia in 1664
  • Henry Turpin settled in Barbados in 1680 with his son and servants

Turpin Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • John Turpin settled in New England in 1750
  • Richard Turpin, who landed in America in 1783

Turpin Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • John Turpin, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1837
  • John Turpin settled at St. Lawrence in 1871

Turpin Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Sarah Turpin settled in Bay Bulls, Newfoundland in 1780

Turpin Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Michael Turpin was scalped by Red Indians at Sandy Cove, now Tilton, Newfoundland in 1809

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
  • James Turpin arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Phoebe" in 1847

Turpin Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

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


  • Melvin Harrison "Mel" Turpin (1960-2010), American professional basketball player
  • Thomas Million John Turpin (1871-1922), African-American ragtime composer
  • William Turpin, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Missouri, 1956
  • White Turpin, American politician, Member of Mississippi territorial House of Representatives, 1809
  • Thomas J. Turpin, American Democrat politician, Member of Maryland State House of Delegates from Wicomico County, 1878
  • Louis Washington Turpin (1849-1903), American Democrat politician, U.S. Representative from Alabama, 1889-95
  • James Turpin, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Virginia, 2008
  • Charles Murray Turpin (1878-1946), American Republican politician, Burgess of Kingston, Pennsylvania; Luzerne County Prothonotary; U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania 12th District, 1929-37
  • 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



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  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)

Other References

  1. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  2. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  3. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  5. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  6. 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.
  7. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  8. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  9. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  10. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  11. ...

The Turpin Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Turpin 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 7 January 2016 at 13:07.

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