This interesting surname is derived from the Old Norse personal name Thorgils, composed of the divine name Thor, the name of the god of thunder in Scandinavian mythology, plus "gils", hostage, pledge. However, the inorganic initial "S" is not easily explained, it may be the result of the Old French influence. The surname dates back to the early 13th Century (see below). Further recordings include one Adam Thurgis (1279) The Hundred Rolls of Bedfordshire, and John Sturgys (1353) The Feet of Fines of Cambridgeshire. Variations in the idiom of the spelling include Sturges, Sturgis, Stirgess, and Turgoose. One, John Sturges married Mary Haddon on May 23rd 1568, at St. Botolph, Bishopsgate, London on November 14th 1569, and John Sturgess son of Nicolas and Hannah, was christened on September 8th 1714, at St. Olave, Southwark, and one Samuel Stirgess, the infant son of Samuel and Sarah Stirgess was christened on August 16th 1829 at Longford in Derbyshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry Turgis, which was dated 1210, "The Pipe Rolls of Wiltshire", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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