Recorded as Turmall, Turmel, Turmell, Termule, Tourmell, and possibly others, this is a surname of uncertain origins. It may be a dialectal variant of the English locational surname Turnell, itself a variant of the popular place name and surname Thornhill, or it may be of French origins. If the latter it probably derives from the rare surname Turmol, of which the only proven recording that we can find is that at Libercy in the departement of the Ardennes on January 7th 1761, when Jeanne Marie Tourmol married Jacque Florentine Cornet. French church registers are a real problem. Most early ones were destroyed during the famous Revolution of 1792 when the Catholic Church itself was totally banned for a decade, or where they do survive, they are at best erratic and the spellings not wholly to be trusted. We think that the recordings in England are probably French Huguenot protestant refugee, but again this is not proven, as the attached Christian names seem to be English. These early recordings in the church registers of the city of London include Derrick Termule at St Olaves Southwark on May 3rd 1702, and Thomas Turmell, a christening witness at St Dunstans Stepney, on July 1st 1718.
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