Turvay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Turvay is an ancient Norman name that arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Turvay family lived in Leicestershire. Their name, however, is a reference to Turville-la-Champagne, Normandy and from Turville (one of nine Seigneuries that bear the name in Normandy) near Pont-Audemer. The name is "derived from Torf de Torfville, from whom descended Geoffrey de Turville 1124, who had grants from the Earl of Leicester and Mellent in England." [1]

"Raoul de Tourneville is on the Dives Roll; and Roger de Turville held Weston-Turville, Bucks, of Bishop Odo [2]. Another manor in the county is called from him Turville. In Leicestershire they are 'one of the ancientest families in the shire'; seated at Normanton-Turville from the time of Henry II., and still flourishing in a junior branch at Husbands Bosworth in the same county." [3]

However, some believe the name is Anglo Saxon in origin, and meant 'dry field'. In the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle the name was recorded in 796 as Thyrefeld. Regardless of the origin, Ralph Turvill, a benefactor of the abbey of Leicester was the first record of the name in 1297.

Early Origins of the Turvay family

The surname Turvay was first found in Leicestershire where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Herdebere, Pailington, Bedworth, Chelmscote, Fulbrooke, and Nuneaton. Normanton Turvile was their main seat. William de Turvile, a companion in arms of Duke William at the Battle of Hastings in 1066, was the first settler. William was descended from the Turville-la-Champagne, seated at Eure, at Amfreville-la-Champagne.

Another source has a slightly more romantic understanding of their origin: "from which of the ten Seigniories of Tourville in the Duchy of Normandy the English Turviles came, cannot now he ascertained. Certain it is that William de Tourville accompanied Duke William to Hastings, and that soon after the Conquest, the Tourvilles became extensive proprietors in the counties of Warwick and Leicester, giving in the latter their name to the manor of Normanton Turvile." [4]

In Buckinghamshire, the manor of Turville once belonged to the abbey at St Albans, but was seized by the Crown in the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1547. The manor house has since been rebuilt as Turville Park, a fine stately home in the village of Turville.

Early History of the Turvay family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Turvay research. Another 196 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1235, 1297, 1400, 1296, 1315, 1288, 1291, 1293, 1277, 1289, 1250, 1122 and 1177 are included under the topic Early Turvay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Turvay Spelling Variations

Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Turvile, Turville, Tourville, Tourvile, Turvell, Turvill, Turvil and many more.

Early Notables of the Turvay family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was William de Turvile, of Weston Turville, Buckinghamshire, High Sheriff of Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire in 1288 and later in 1291. Later Nicolas de Trimenel or de Turvile was High Sheriff in 1293. Robert Turvile was a Knights Templar and was Master of the Temple of...
Another 52 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Turvay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Turvay family

Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Turvay or a variant listed above: Ann Turvel who landed in North America in 1771.



The Turvay Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Virtus semper eadem
Motto Translation: Virtue is always the same.


  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. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 3 of 3
  4. ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.


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