Related Names

There are currently around 5,000 Turveys in the world, as follows:

England 2,000 [1][6]
United States 1,250 [2]
Australia 1,000 [1]
New Zealand 200 [1]
Canada 350 [6]
South Africa 50 [7]



The population in England is concentrated around Bedfordshire and Worcestershire. This has been the consistent pattern in all censuses since 1841, except that there has been a general urbanisation and diffusion of the population. Census returns showed a steady growth in Turvey population:

1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1998
449 657 906 965 1404 1190 1495 1964

The following map shows the distribution of Turveys in 1841 according to the census:

The blue lines shows the migration patterns that can be seen on this map:

  1. Some time when surnames were introduced in England (in around the 1300s), one or more people moved away from the village of Turvey (green circle) and acquired the surname x "of Turvey" which was passed onto their children.
  2. As time went on, the name diffused away from the place of origin
  3. Some time in the 1500s, one or more families moved to Worcestershire; their descendants account for around a third of all Turveys today, including the descendents of William Turvey (1). Notable people from this line include Thomas Turvey, High Sheriff of Worcestershire in 1666 [1].
  4. Around the same time one or more families moved to Norfolk.
  5. The lines that stayed in the Bedfordshire area include the descendents of William Turvey (5)
  6. From the 1700s, many people moved to the nearest cities as the economy urbanised. For people around Bedfordshire that meant Luton and London, and for the Worcestershire families that meant Bristol and Birmingham.

Earliest recorded Turveys

The earliest recorded Turveys include:

United States

The earliest record of a Turvey in the United States was John Turvey, from Ashford, Kent, England who sailed to Massachusetts in 1634 on the ship Hercules. He was listed as a servant of Dr. Comfort Starr, a surgeon who settled in Boston and became one of the earliest benefactors of Harvard University.

In 1637, a Peter John Turvey was listed in connection with the transfer of 450 acres of land at Upper Chippokes Creek, Virginia. [1]

However, the ancestors of most Turveys in the United States migrated there from Britain in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Between 1820 and 1957, 107 Turveys were listed on passenger lists travelling from Britain to New York and Boston. [3] Census returns showed only 1 Turvey family in 1840 - perhaps the family of Hyatt Turvey - which had increased to 147 families by 1880. Two thirds lived in Ohio and the population was limited to 12 states. By 1920 the total number had reduced to 107 families but the population was now spread through 27 States; the number of families living in Ohio had halved. [4] Only sixty four people were listed in 1920 with a British birthplace. [3]


Four Turvey brothers from Essex, England - James, George, Frederick and Thomas, were transported to Australia in the 1830s, becoming the first Turveys in Australia. [3] The population grew steadily in the twentieth century. Electoral rolls in Victoria listed 30 Turveys in 1903, growing to 85 by 1936. By then there were 248 listed throughout Australia as follows:

Victoria New South Wales Tasmania Queensland Western Australia Total
85 80 31 26 26 248

Turvey Park, a suburb of the city of Wagga Wagga in New South Wales derives its name from Thomas Turvey, the transported convict who later became the licensee of the Bridge Hotel.


Twenty seven Turveys were listed in the 1891 Canadian census as having a British birthplace - of whom 21 were in Ontario. [3] Today there are nearly 400 Turveys in Canada, mostly in Ontario and British Columbia. [6]

South Africa

Included in the 4,000 English settlers who moved to South Africa in 1820, was Edward Turvey, born in Dublin, and his family. [5]


There are a handful of records of Turveys living in Ireland. In 1771, a Thomas Turvy was recorded marrying Ann Barber in a Catholic church in Dublin. In 1802 and 1803, two sisters, Lidiam Perdue and Matildam Perdue were recorded being baptised in the same church with godparents of Martha and Matilda Turvy respectively. [8]

In 1781, Edward Ford Turvey, the ancestor of the South African Turveys above, was born in Dublin apparantly to an Anglican family. His father, John Turvey, was born in 1738. Edward lost most of his fortune in a business venture with two ship owners, Aiken and McGrath. On 4 February 1805 he married Julia Wright nee Daniel, a rich widow. Their first three children, Mary, Eliza Juliana and Edward Mortimer, were born in Dublin in 1806, 1809 and 1811 respectively. In 1820 he organised a party of settlers to move to South Africa. [9][10]

In 1873, the weddding was reported in St Werbergh's, Dublin of Alexander Turvey, who lived in Longford and was a Corporal in the 8th Hussars, a predominantly protestant army regiment. His father was listed as Arthur Turvey, a civil engineer. [10]

Barons of Turvey

A separate, unrelated, family, is the Barnewalls. As early as 1534 Sir Patrick Barnewall was styled "of Turvey". His son, Sir Christopher Barnewall built Turvey House in Dublin in 1565, which gives its name to the adjacent district. His grandson, Sir Nicholas Barnewall was made Baron Turvey in recognition of his service during the English Civil War. [11]


[1] 1,964 people listed in 1998:


[3] The Turvey Name in History, The Generations Network, 2008








[11]Burke, John Bernard. A Genealogical History of the Dormant, Abeyant, Forfeited, and Extinct Peerages of the British Empire. (London: Harrison, 1883).

  1. See Source:Foley, Louise Pledge Heath. Early Virginia Families Along the James River, page 18