This unusual and interesting name has its origins in a hybrid Scandinavian and Old German personal name, 'Thorbert' or 'Thurbert'. The first element of the name is the Old Norse divine name 'Thor(r)', the name of the God of Thunder in Scandinavian mythology, and the second element is the Old German 'berht', meaning 'bright, famous'. The name was introduced into England by the Normans after the Conquest of 1066 in the form 'Turbert', and is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as 'Torbert' and 'Thurbert'. There are a number of variant forms of the modern surname, ranging from Turbard, Turbet(t), Turbitt, Torbitt and Tarbert to Tarbatt and Tarbutt. The marriage of John Turbitt and Alice Clarke was recorded at St. Margaret's, Westminster, in London, on January 11th 1626. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alan Torbert, which was dated 1212, The Berkshire Curia Rolls, 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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