Related Names

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

England 2,000 [1] [6]
United States 1,250 [2][3]
Australia 1,000 [1][3]
South Africa 800 [7] [3]
New Zealand 200 [1][3]
Canada 350 [6]



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 [4].
  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.

Genetic ancestry

At least three Turvey lines have been tested for their Y-DNA - the male sex chromosome which is always passed down from father to son. These have revealed:

  • John Turvey, born 1776 on the outskirts of Bristol, descended from the I1a-AS ("Anglo-Saxon") haplotype; this line is thought to have come to England with the Anglo-Saxon settlement between 450 - 600 CE.
  • George Turvey, married 1707 in Thornborough, Bucks, has been linked [5] to the J1 haplotype, which is very rare in northern European; this line settled in Europe 15,000 years ago, as late stone age hunter-gatherers.
  • Samuel Turvey, eldest child born 1759 in Great Warley, Essex, has a descendent [6] who matches R1b haplotype
  • William Turvey, whose son was born in Bedfordshire in 1823, also matches R1b, but with key differences to Samuel's ancestors.

Generally speaking, since the establishment of surnames in England in the 1300s, these have also passed from father to son and therefore should match the inheritance of Y-DNA. However, there are a number of key mechanisms that can happen to interrupt this transmission, which would result in men sharing the Turvey surname having different Y-DNA. In particular:

  • Approx. 5% of births were illegitimate, and children would often take their mother's surname. Note, however, that illegitimate children, in general, were less like to prosper or inherit property, and would, on average, have fewer descendents. This reduces the impact of this effect.
  • If fathers died leaving young children, their mother would often remarry; the original children sometimes took the new husband's surname
  • In some cultures, particularly in the north, people took the surnames of their feudal overlords; this was less common in southern England, where the Turveys originated
  • It is thought that the surname originated from the village of Turvey in Bedfordshire; however, it is possible that some Turvey lines had an independent origin, in particular for the clustered group around Pershore, Worcestershire, or the remote instances in Norfolk.

Therefore, there is a high chance that there would be some interruption in the 15 generations between 1300 and 1750.

Earliest recorded Turveys

The earliest recorded Turveys include:

  • The Hotot Estate Book recorded a series of land purchases between 1213 and 1250, including land in the village of Turvey. [7] This referenced a "Galfriedo de Torvey" who paid rent of 2.5 pence. [8]
  • The following mentioned in connection with deeds dated 1234 - 1248:[9]
    • Robert, son of Ralph de Torvey, deed on land in Torvey [Turvey]
    • Hugh, son of Helyas de Turvey on the meadow of Prestmade in Turvey
    • Hugh, son of Helyas de Torvey grants land in Torvey
    • William le Eyr confirms to Philip, son of Nicholas de Torvey, one messuage and 5 acres of land in the fields of Torvey
    • Sarah, daughter of William of Turvey, grants land in Turvey
    • Walter de Bedefort sells to Philip, son of Nicholas de Torvey, land in Turvey which he held of William le Eye
    • Philip, son of Nicholas de Torvey, gives to the Priory of St Neot, all the preceding property
    • William, son of Geoffrey de Turvey, grants a messuage etc in Turvey
  • Dated slightly later to ca. 1255 are the following deeds: [10]
    • Adam, son of Robert de Turvey, grants land in Turvey
    • Ralph de Turvey, clerk, grants one acre in Turvey
    • William, son of Geoffrey of Thurvey, convention with Henry de Messville, Prior of St Neots, for the exchange of lands in Thurvey
  • John Turvey, who was murdered in 1284, and his accused was imprisoned in Tynemouth, Northumberland.
  • William & Matilda turveye were assessed for tax in 1301 in Lowick, Northants [4]
  • Robert Turvey, who witnessed the appointment of a warden and chaplains to a priory in Kirby Bellars, Leicestershire in 1319. [5]
  • John de Turvey, a merchant from Bruges who was blown ashore in Great Yarmouth in 1327 and arrested.
  • John de Turvey of Huntingdonshire was listed in 1328 as a surety for the de Baildon brothers, well-connected Yorkshire barons.
  • John Turvey, listed as a creditor in 1331
  • Ralph de Turveye vicar of Church Stretton, Shropshire and Dean of Wenlock, Shropshire before 1332
  • Laurence Turvey, parson of Den church, Lincoln Diocese in 1332
  • Thomas de Turvey of Northampton, who witnessed five court hearings in 1348-52 [11][12][13][14]
  • sir Nicholas de Turveye, rector of Loughton, St Peter Berkhampstead, Leaden Roding and Hanwell between 1362-75 [15]
  • John Turvey of Tadwick, Somerset, who was convicted of owing £24 in 1379
  • John Turvey, rector of Alderford, Norfolk in 1395
  • John Turvey, priest of Clifton, Beds and then rector of Yelden in 1396
  • John Turvey, who owned a house ("mesuage") in Castor, Northants before 1398
  • John Turvey, listed as the receiver of Caus Castle in Shropshire in 1399

Bedfordshire Turveys

Although the village of Turvey is located in Bedfordshire, the frequency of the name in the county has been surprisingly low. The Return of Gentry in Bedfordshire, recorded in 1433, noted the names of 124 people, including "Johannis Turvey or Turvey", Thome [Thomas] & Willelmi [William] Purvey of Luton and a second Willelmi [William] Purvey also of Luton. [6] Assuming "Purvey" is a mistranscription, this percentage fell dramatically in the next 250 years: of the ca. 11,000 people named in the Bedfordshire Hearth Tax return for 1671, there were just three Turveys: a father & son in Husband Crawley and a third person living in Cranfield. The Husband Crawley family was also recorded in the Subsidy rolls of 1580, 1596 and 1627.[7]

By the time of the 1841 census, that had increased to 45 people in a county with a population of 108,000; there were a further 93 living in neighbouring Buckinghamshire and 33 in neighbouring Northamptonshire.

The parish registers in the 16th century are mostly fragmentary, but they reveal a number of Turvey families in the county:

  • Robert Torvye, married 1564 Alice West in Bedford [8]
  • Magdalen Turvey married 1570 James Harprey in Bedford [9]
  • Joan Turvey, daughter of William, christened 1567 in Bedford
  • Robert Turvey, son of William, christened 1569 in Bedford
  • Isabel Tervye married Jas [James] Henlye in 1581 in Cardington

Worcestershire Turveys

Around a third of all Turveys today are descended from Turveys in Worcestershire, including the descendents of William Turvey (1). However, there is no mention of an Turveys in the subsidy rolls for Worcestershire in 1332 [16] or 1327 [17] nor in the neighbouring counties of Gloucestershire & Bristol [18] [10]

The first mention found of a Turvey in the west of England is for William Turvey of Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire, who sued three people in 1465 for the non-payment of a debt: Richard Scons, husbandman; John Wynford, merchant and Nicholas Gay, mercer. [11]

The earliest mention of a Turvey in the county is of yeoman George Turvey of Walcot, who was imprisoned in Worcester Gaol in 1510 on account of a debt of £17 he and two others from Pershore owed a London merchant.[19][20] It was recorded that George Turby [sic] was in possession of 3 messuages, 100 acres of land, 20 acres of meadow, 100 acres of pasture, 10 acres of wood, and 100 acres of moor and heath in Walcot, worth 5marks (£3-6s-8d) a year. Walcot is located in the parish of Pershore, 9 miles southeast of Worcester. His will was recorded in 1557 as "George Turv, yeoman, Walkott Worcester". [21] Walcot is recorded in the hands of John le Blake in 1313, who held it from the Abbey of Pershore[22] and the Abbey of Pershore also held it in 1346 [23] and 1428.[24]

Just before, in 1500, there is a record of "Johnes Turvey of Solihulle [Solihull]" in the Register of the Guild of Knowle in the County of Warwick. [12]

A Richard Turvey was recorded in the Lay Subsidy of 1524 in Pershore assessed at £3-10s.[25]

The high proportion of Turvey descendents from Worcestershire may be due to a possible "founder effect", where an ancestor moved to the area sometime in the 1400s and was particularly successful, leading to a larger than normal number of descendants. It is possible that this person could have been a retained soldier who fought in the Wars of the Roses and was rewarded with land in Worcestershire.

A David Turvys was listed as a goldsmith and Burgess in nearby Bristol in 1528. [26] Another will, Rycharde Turvey of Drake Broughton, was recorded in 1542.[27] Drake Broughton is 1 mile west of Walcot, in the north end of Pershore Holy Cross parish. George Turvey of Braughton was named as the heir apparent of Richard Turvey in a Worcestershire writ by John Russell, when he was pursued for a debt. George Turvey was described as a "franklin" - a landowner of free but not noble birth. [13]

Pershore parish registers begin in 1540. Early records include:

  1. John Turvie, chr. 22 Feb 1546
  2. Edmund Turvey, chr. 01 Nov 1551, son of George Turvey
  3. Elizabethe Turvey, chr 15 April 1565,
  4. Harry Turvey, chr. 18 Feb 1581, son of Edmund Turvey
  5. Marye Turvey, chr. 4 Jan 1584, daur of Edmund Turvey
  6. Joane Turvey, chr 25 Mar 1593, daur of William Turvey
  7. Elizabethe Turvey, chr 25 Mar 1593, daur of William Turvey
  8. Elizabethe Turvey, chr 5 Apr 1594, daur of William Turvey
  9. Alice Turvey, chr 28 Jun 1596, daur of William Turvey

A will of Elenor Turvie was recorded at the Bishop of Worcester's court on 7 Oct 1576. [28] A marriage bond of Edward Turvey, yeoman, Pershore to Elienora Simonds, Pinvin, is recorded in 1593.[29]

Ann Turvey, wife of Bartholemew Turvey, was buried 10 Feb 1615 in Pershore

The next records are from Droitwich, 7 miles north of Worcester:

  1. George Turvye married Margarett Jaunsey 06 Oct 1589
  2. Jane Turvie, daur of George Turvie, chr 28 Feb 1592
  3. Elizabeth Turvey, daur of George Turvey, chr 16 Nov 1595
  4. Jane Turvye, daur of George Turvye, chr 22 Apr 1599
  5. George Turvye, son of George Turvye, chr 10 Dec 1605

Around the same time, there are two records from Pinvin, a chapelry of Pershore parish, 2 miles north of Pershore:

  1. Edwardus Turvie married Elinora Simonds 26 Nov 1593
  2. Edwardus Turvie, son of Edwardi Turvie, chr 13 Oct 1594

Meanwhile, a Rychard Turvey married Joanne Walker on 22 Jul 1599 in Offenham, 7 miles east of Pershore. [30]

A graduate of Oxford University, Richard Turvey (b 1602), is listed receiving a B.A. on 6 Dec 1622 and an M.A. on 22 Jun 1625.[31] He was appointed Rector of Sedgeberrow, Worcestershire, on 9 Nov 1627, on the death of the previous incumbent.[32] Papers dated 28 Sep 1648 indicate that he was charged by the victorious parliamentarians following the end of the English Civil War. [33]

The Heraldry of Worcestershire talks of the Turveys of Walcot, "a family possessed of considerable landed property".[34] Edward Turvey of Walcot, esq, was fined in 1625 for "not taking knighthood on the coronation of Charles I".

In 1634, Edward Turvey purchased the manor of Wadborough in the parish of Pershore. [35] and it passed to Thomas Turvey in 1674.[36].

In the far north of the county, the parish records of Dudley record a family of Turveys:

  • 1630 May 25 - John Turbee to wyf Mary Robinson
  • 1631 Apr 11 - Daniell son to John Turbee baptised
  • 1631 Apr 12 - The same Daniell buried
  • 1632 Jun 8 - Daniell son to John Turbee buried
  • 1641 Aug 1 - Samuell son to John Turbee & Mary his wife baptised
  • 1647 May 30 - [illegible] daughter to John Turbie & Mary his wife baptised
  • 1648 Dec 3 - Ales daughter to John Turbee & Mary his wife baptised

The Hearth Tax records for Worcestershire in 1664 listed nine Turvey households who were liable for the tax:

  1. John Turvey, Dudley, Halfshire
  2. George Turvey, Droitwich, Halfshire
  3. John Turvy, Droitwich, Halfshire
  4. Thomas Turvey, Pinvin, Pershore
  5. Thomas Turvey, Oldlands, Pershore
  6. Thomas, esq Turvey, Walcot with members, Pershore
  7. Thomas, sen Turvey, Beoley, Pershore
  8. William Turvey, Clifton on Teme, Doddingtree
  9. Thomas Turvey, Clifton on Teme, Doddingtree

The Thomas Turvey, esquire, listed in walcot, is presumably the same person as that listed as High Sheriff of Worcestershire in 1666 [37]. He may also be the Thomas Turvey, gentleman, who was involved in six court cases listed in the "Worcestershire Fines" in between 1649 and 1654.[38]

Richard Turvey of Walcot died in 1658, aged 60, leaving his daughter Elizabeth as heir, and his property passed to their children, the Earls of Plymouth. [39]. He may have been the Richard Turvey, gentleman, who was involved in two court cases in 1656 & 1657 [40]

Thomas Turvey bought the Manor of Breedon, 7 miles south of Pershore, in 1667. [41] A "Thomas Turvey of Bredon" was included in Blome's "list of the gentry of Worcestershire" in 1673. A Thomas Turvey, "armigerum" (knight), is listed in six court case between 1663 and 1675, including in Breedon and Wadborough. [42] A John Turvey of Bredon was listed as High Sheriff of Worcestershire in 1668. [43].

East Anglians Turveys

The 1841 census listed a total of ten Turveys in Suffolk and 17 in Norfolk, located in eight parishes spread throughout the counties. Although this is just 5% of the total number of Turveys in England at the time, and just 1 in 25,000 of the population of the two counties [44][45], the family had been present in the area for many centuries.

The first recorded Turvey in East Anglia was John de Turvey of Huntingdonshire, listed in 1328 as a surety. Clearly a man of some means, he lived less than 30 miles northeast of the village of Turvey. Seventy years later a Turvey is included in the list of the rectors of Alderford, a village ten miles northwest of Norwich. This church had it's patron as the Dean of Norwich and there is no record of the same person elsewhere, so it is unclear whether he left any mark on the county.[46].

The Subsidy of 1524 recorded two Turveys in Suffolk with property of more than £1 in goods or annual income (roughly equivalent to £20,000 in 2016 [47]). This was out of a total list of 17,000 taxpayers recorded, indicating that the family has declined somewhat in the following three hundred years. The two recorded were John Turvy, in Becclys [Beccles], with £4 in goods and Robert Turvey in neighbouring Wyrlyngham [Worlingham] with £1 in annual wages.[14] The Subsidy of 1568 had a higher threshold of £3 in goods, covering only 7,700 taxpayers; no Turveys were recorded in that return. [15]

The earliest parish registers date back to 1538 when the protestant king Henry VIII ordered for religious reasons that every wedding, baptism and burial should be recorded. Parish registers, however, have patchy coverage and not very many are available online. The earliest recorded on FreeREG in the birth in 1561 of Johes Turvy in Foulden, Norfolk [48] followed by the marriage in 1570 of George & Agnes Turvye in Rushall. They baptised a daughter the following year in neighbouring Dickleburgh and another Turvey was baptised the year after in next door Scole. Three Turvey marriages were recorded in the 1590s in the town of Dunwich.

The registers of Wortham, near the Norfolk/Suffolk border, record a series of Turveys from the late 1600s. In 1697 they record the marriage of Thomas Turvye [sic] and Maria Cutting, and the death two years later of Robert Turvye, "old man" - possibly Thomas' father. There were at least three Turvey families recorded in the early 1700s in the Wortham registers and many of the Turveys listed in the census in Suffolk and Norfolk can be traced back to this parish.

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. [16]

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], including families like the Turveys of Bay City Michigan[17]. 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. 1.0 1.1 1.2 [1,964 people listed in 1998: National Trust Names] (1998)
  2. Name Statistics
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Forebears, accessed 2016-10-19
  5. Calendar of the Patent rolls preserved in the Public Records Office 1317-1321 Edward II v.3.
  6. The visitations of Bedfordshire, annis domini 1566, 1582, and 1634, Frederic Augustus Blaydes, 1884
  7. The Bedfordshire Hearth Tax Return for 1671, Lydia Marshall, Bedfordshire Historical Record Society, 1990
  8. "England Marriages, 1538–1973 ," database, FamilySearch ( : 10 December 2014), Robert Torvye and Alice West, 04 May 1564; citing Saint Mary,Bedford,Bedford,England, reference ; FHL microfilm 823,782.
  9. "England Marriages, 1538–1973 ," database, FamilySearch ( : 10 December 2014), James Harprey and Magdalen Turvey, 22 Apr 1570; citing Saint Mary,Bedford,Bedford,England, reference ; FHL microfilm 823,782
  10. Although there is an Editha Tovey mentioned [1] who may have been related
  12. [2]
  13. Anglo-American Legal Tradition CP40/1135
  14. Suffolk in 1524, being the return for a subsidy granted in 1523
  15. Suffolk in 1568, being the return for a subsidy granted in 1566
  16. See Source:Foley, Louise Pledge Heath. Early Virginia Families Along the James River, page 18
  17. [3]