Recorded in several forms including Torvey, Turvay, Turvee, Turvie, and the most popular Turvey, this is probably an English surname. We say 'probably' because whilst most nameholders whatever their modern spelling probably originate from the village of Turvey in Bedfordshire, the surviving registers suggest an overlap with the French name of Turville from the village of Turville in Normandy, which is itself is also a relatively popular English surname from the time of the Norman Conquest in 1066. In the dialects of Middle English Turvey and Turville may well have sounded exactly the same, and hence in the medieval times we believe that some intermixing took place. The village of Turvey is first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086, commissioned by William, the Conqueror. This book lists all known lands and their owners and is the first comprehensive gazetter of any country anywhere in the world. The village is listed as Torveie, which translates as 'turf island'. This would have been an area of good grazing in a marsh or bog, probably not an island as such. It is unclear as to when the surname was first recorded. Locational names being 'from' names, that is to say names given to people after they left their original village and moved elsewhere, it may be that of Geoffrey de Turevilla of Berkshire in 1230. What we can say is that the name is well recorded in the early surviving church registers of the diocese of Greater London from the time of Henry V111 (!510 - 1547). Examples include Elizabeth Turvie, christened at St Mary Whitechapel, Stepney, on December 3rd 1587, and Elizabeth Turvey who married William Ludkin at St Katherines by the Tower (of London), on May 27th 1697.
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