Turrell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname Turrell is derived from the Old French word "tirel," derived from "tirer," "to pull." The word was often used to refer to an animal that pulled carts; thus it may be that it was used as a nickname for a stubborn person, before coming to be used as a hereditary surname.

Early Origins of the Turrell family

The surname Turrell was first found in Essex where one of the first records of the name is Walter Tirel III, (1065-c. 1100), Castellan of Pontoise and Lord of Poix, son of Walter Tirell II. [1]

He is remembered for his involvement in the death of King William II (William Rufus) on a hunting trip in the New Forest on August 2nd, 1100. Some say it was an accident when Walter shot an arrow at a stag which glanced from the beast and struck King William II, while others disagree. [2]

However, accordingly to chroniclers of the time, they parted at the beginning of the hunt on good terms, but the king was later found with one of the arrows given to Walter by the king in his chest. There is a stone in the Forest at Stoney Cross marking the spot where the King fell. [3]

Walter's grandson Hugh Tyrrel (died 1199) took part in the Norman Conquest of Ireland where he became the first Baron of Castleknock and later took part in the Third Crusade.

Another distinct branch of the family was found at Gipping in Suffolk. "This place, which takes its name from the small river Gipping, is the property of C. Tyrell, Esq., whose ancestor, Sir Walter Tyrell, Knt., held the lordship at the time of the Domesday survey." [4]

Early History of the Turrell family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Turrell research. Another 140 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1423, 1412, 1450, 1502, 1502, 1597, 1676, 1661, 1676, 1617, 1701, 1643, 1718, 1642, 1718, 1623, 1676 and 1370 are included under the topic Early Turrell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Turrell Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Tyrell, Terrell, Terrill, Tyrill, Turrell, Tirell, Tyrrell and many more.

Early Notables of the Turrell family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: Sir James Tyrrell (c.1450-1502), an English knight, a trusted servant of King Richard III of England; he confessed to the murders of King Edward V of England and his brother Richard of Shrewsbury, 1st Duke of York and was beheaded at Tower Hill in 1502; Sir Peter Tyrell; Sir John Tyrell (1597-1676), an...
Another 61 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Turrell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Turrell family to Ireland

Some of the Turrell family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 78 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Turrell migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Turrell Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Daniel Turrell, who arrived in Boston in 1640
  • Rose Turrell, who settled in Virginia in 1690
Turrell Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Samuel Turrell, who settled in Boston in 1716
  • John Turrell, who settled in Maryland in 1763

Australia Turrell migration to Australia +

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

Turrell Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Jacob Turrell, aged 24, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Flora" [5]
  • Esau Turrell, aged 28, a farm labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1857 aboard the ship "Tantivy"

New Zealand Turrell 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:

Turrell Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. George Turrell, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Martaban" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 8th October 1856 [6]
  • Miss Betsy Turrell, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Martaban" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 8th October 1856 [6]
  • Mr. Walter Turrell, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Martaban" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 8th October 1856 [6]
  • Mr. George Turrell, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Martaban" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 8th October 1856 [6]
  • Mr. Thomas Turrell, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Martaban" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 8th October 1856 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Turrell migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [7]
Turrell Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Alice Turrell, who settled in Barbados in 1664

Contemporary Notables of the name Turrell (post 1700) +

  • James Turrell (b. 1943), American artist
  • William J. Turrell, American Republican politician, Member of Pennsylvania State Senate, 1863-65 (9th District 1863-64, 11th District 1865) [8]
  • Nathan Turrell, American politician, Member of Connecticut State House of Representatives from Brookfield, 1855 [8]
  • Harry M. Turrell, American Democratic Party politician, Chair of Susquehanna County Democratic Party, 1937; Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1944 [8]
  • A. H. Turrell, American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Mississippi, 1920 [8]


  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. ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  4. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  5. ^ South Australian Register Monday 9th April 1855. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Flora 1855. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/flora1855.shtml
  6. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  7. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  8. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 7) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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