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Origins of the Turner surname

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What does the name Turner mean?

The origin of the Turner surname is thought to be mostly occupational, relating to those who made objects by using a lathe, turning wood or metal to finish them. More rarely Turner can refer to someone who runs or takes part in a tournament, or can be related to someone who is noted to be fast at running, a 'turnhare'. The Turner surname has been found in documents dating back to the 1100s and is believed to have originated in Normandy, being brought to England with the Norman conquest of the 11th century.

Alternative variations of the name Turner

Turner, Turnour, Turnar, Torner, Turnor

I’ve managed to trace back to the mid-1500s! I can’t believe it! Utterly engrossing and I have uncovered some quite moving and heartbreaking stories attached to various ancestors. You don’t need any qualifications to start - just time patience, and some information.

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Where do most Turners live?

In 1921, most Turners lived in London.

Census records trace your ancestors through each generation, so you can follow where your relatives lived through each decade.

Interesting facts about Turners

How common is your surname?

21st most common surname in the UK

We have 845,000 records for the Turner surname. The oldest one dates back to 1220.

Who were Turners most likely to marry?




Our Marriage record sets tell us which families married Turners.

What are the most common Turner first names?

  • John
  • William
  • Mary
  • Elizabeth

Our birth record sets tell us the names of Turner family members

Common jobs for Turners

Men and women often performed different types of jobs, so these are displayed by gender to maintain their historical accuracy.

Common Female occupations for Turners in 1921


Cotton Weaver




Domestic Servant


General Servant Domestic


Common Male occupations for Turners in 1921
Agricultural Labourer


General Labourer


Coal Miner


Farm Labourer




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We found over 590,000 family trees with the Turner surname

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