Recorded in several spellings including Torbet, Torbett, Torbeck, Torbitt, Torbutt, Torbat, Turbat, Turbard, Tarbert, Tarbath and many others, this is an Anglo-Scottish surname. If Scottish it is probably locational from a place called 'The lands of Tarvit', an estate within the parish of Cupar, in Fifeshire, or from Torbreck, a place in the county of Sutherland, in the far north of the country. It is also possible that the name when English is not locational at all. If so it one of the numerous spellings which originate from the pre 9th century Norman-French name 'Turbert'. This name was introduced after the Invasion of 1066, and has the elements 'Thor' meaning thunder, and the suffix '-bert' meaning bright. It was very popular, with several personal names (there were few surnames at the time) in the famous Domesday Book of 1086. These recordings include Tarbert of London and Thurbert of Suffolk. The first recognizeable surname is probably that of Gaufridus Torbertus in the Curis Regis rolls of Berkshire in the year 1212, and later that of Thomas Torebat in the Hundred Rolls of Essex in 1279. The first recording in Scotland is probably that of Henry de Tarvethe in the homage lists of 1296, whilst William Torbet is recorded in Fifeshire in 1757.
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