Turtle History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Turtle surname comes from the Old Norse personal name "þorkell," made up of the elements "þórr," or "Thor," name of the Scandinavian god of thunder and "ketill," meaning "a cauldron." In northern England, the name came directly via Scandinavian settlers, whereas in the South this name arrived with the Normans. Alternatively, the name could have been derived from the Old English expression "tot-hyll" as in "dweller by the look-out hill." [1] "Many spots are so called in all parts of England. A hill with a good outlook against an enemy's approach." [2]

Early Origins of the Turtle family

The surname Turtle was first found in either Toot Hill, Essex; or Tothill, Lincolnshire and Middlesex; or at Tootle Height, Lancashire. The earliest record of the name was Giolber de Totehille, who was listed as a Knight Templar in 1185. [1] The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list: Custance Totel in Cambridgeshire, 1273; and Roger Tothull in Oxfordshire. Later the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls list: Johannes de Totehill; Willelmus de Totehill; Johannes de Tutill; Agnes filius Thome de Totehil; and John de Totehill. [2]

Early History of the Turtle family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Turtle research. Another 99 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1587, 1693, 1649 and are included under the topic Early Turtle History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Turtle Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Turtle, Tuttle, Tuttall, Tuttell, Tuthill, Tottle, Tottehull, Tootell, Tuthall, Tothill, Toothill, Toutehill and many more.

Early Notables of the Turtle family (pre 1700)

Another 42 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Turtle Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Turtle family to Ireland

Some of the Turtle family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 86 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 Turtle migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Turtle Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • James Turtle, who landed in Maryland in 1660 [3]
Turtle Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Johannes Turtle, who arrived in Georgia in 1741 [3]
  • Thomas Turtle, aged 21, who landed in Virginia in 1773 [3]

Canada Turtle migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Turtle Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Charles Turtle was a fisherman of Freshwater, Newfoundland in 1839 [4]

Australia Turtle migration to Australia +

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

Turtle Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. James Turtle, English convict who was convicted in Westminster, London, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Baring" in December 1818, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [5]
  • Mr. William Turtle, British convict who was convicted in London, England for life, transported aboard the "Asia" on 19th November 1827, settling in New South Wales, Australia [6]
  • Tabitha Turtle, aged 34, a domestic servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Fitzjames"
  • Maria Turtle, aged 19, a domestic servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Fitzjames"

Contemporary Notables of the name Turtle (post 1700) +

  • Paul Turtle, American cinematographer, known for his work on The Moviemakers (1985) and Weekend World (1984)
  • Fred Turtle, American sound engineer, known for his work on The Invisible Man (1959), Murder Ahoy (1964) and The Hill (1965)
  • Tamela Turtle, American Trail Dance Film Festival Award winning actress and composer, known for Yonderville (2007) and Let's Talk About Sex (2006)
  • William Turtle (b. 1855), American politician, Member of Massachusetts State House of Representatives Fourth Berkshire District, 1899-1901, 1906 [7]
  • William Turtle, American politician, Member of Nebraska State House of Representatives, 1883-85 [7]
  • John Ross Turtle (b. 1937), Australian medical academic and endocrinologist from Sydney, Australia, Emeritus Professor of Medicine and an Honorary President of the International Diabetes Federation


  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ 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)
  4. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  5. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 16th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/baring
  6. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 8th January 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1827
  7. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 7) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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