Recorded in the spellings of Turle, Turrill, Terrell, Tyrrell, Tirrell, Terrell, and possibly others, this is an English surname. It is however of either pre 8th century Danish-Viking or Old French origins. It is believed to derive from the Old Danish female personal name "Thorold", which was very popular in 11th Century England. The personal name was recorded in the Domesday Book for the county of Suffolk in 1086. It is possible that for some nameholders the derivation may be from the Old French "Tirel", thought to be a Norman nickname for a stubborn person! Tirel was a word used to describe an animal which pulled at the reins. A sizeable group of early European surnames were gradually created from the habitual use of nicknames. The nicknames were given in reference to occupation, or to a variety of characteristics or physical attributes. Early examples of the surname recordings include Claricia Thourild and Walter Thurild in the Hundred Rolls of Oxfordshire in 1279, while the Court Rolls of the Manor of Wakefield mention John Torild in 1308. Recordings from London Church Registers include: the christening of Anne Turrell on December 28th 1554, at St. Martin Ludgate; the marriage of Avice Turall and John Daniell at St. Olave's, Hart Street; and the marriage of Agnes Tyrrl and Robert Davis on July 1st 1599, at St. Katherine by the Tower. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph Turold, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Suffolk", during the reign of King Edward 1st of England, 1272 - 1307. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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