John "The Planter" Turbyfill
Settled in Virginia
portion of the surname (ville) is derived from the French word meaning
“villa”, “place of”, or “residence”. It is common for
“ville” to evolve into variations including “field” and
“fill”. There are several possibilities as to the first part of the
name. The Greek work for turmoil, “turbê” is a likely possibility.
Another possible origin is the Germanic word for “turf” (Medieval
Latin “turbariâ” or Anglo-Norman “turberie”) indicating a place
where a peat bog existed. Some etymologists have even suggested the name
Turbeville may be a derivative of Thor, the mythical god of thunder and
war. It is difficult to know the exact meaning without researching the
original location of the village Turbeville. The place name Turbeville
was translated into Latin form as De Turbida Villa. The Turbeville name
was brought to England during the Norman French invasion of 1066.
of variations from the Turbeville surname date back to the 12th century.
In 1115, the name Ralph de Turbeilli was referred to in the “Liber
Wintoniensis” in Hampshire, England. A few years later (1121) Robert
de Turbetuula was noted in the “Ancient Charter” of Herefordshire.
Hugo de Turbevilla was listed in the same document in 1123.
During the reign of king Edward I, Sir Thomas Turberville (circa 1290)
attempted to betray the infamous “Longshanks” into the hands of the
French. Sir Thomas Turbeville was found guilty of treason and sentenced
to death by hanging in London, England. A contemporary poet wrote of the
event: “Turbat transquilla clam, Thomas Turbida villa” . This single
event may well account for the myriad of variations in the Turbeville
surname, the relative demise of the Turbeville name in England, and the
subsequent emergence of the name in the New World!
Some work claims our
lineage is connected to Sir Payne de Turberville. This research
indicates the family line descends from twelve Turberville knights who
came from France with William the Conqueror in 1066. If one
ascribes to this this theory, our ancestors were rewarded with the
Castle of Coity and land in Glamorganshire, Wales! This line
of the Turbeville family later settled in Somerset and Dorset Counties
in England. Sir John Turbeville acquired the Bere Regis Manor,
which passed on through the family to a subsequent John Turbeville who
was the progenitor to Turbyfills in America. This work
asserts our line being connected to John Turbyfill and
Lucy Elizabeth Johns in Virginia.
best documented records of the Turbyfill name in America are references
to “John the Planter” in Brunswick County, Virginia (circa 1740),
and to his son, “John the Patriot” a Magistrate in Lincoln County,
North Carolina (circa 1800).