The surname of TRUMBLE was originally a nickname 'the turnbull' and was derived from the old word Trumbald. The name is indicative of strength and bravery, of Scottish origin. According to tradition the name is derived from a man called Rule who saved the life of Robert the Bruce by 'turning' a ferocious bull which had threatened to gore the King. For this timely service Rule obtained a new name. In 1315, Robert I granted a charter of land in the west of Fulophalche to William called Turnebull. Sometime during his reign, David II granted the lands of Humdallwalschop in the barony of Mener to John Trumble, and circa 1354 Walter Tornebull was witness to a charter by Adam de Roule of the lands of Altonburn. Patrick Turnbull was baillie in Edinburgh in 1388. Johannes Turnebull of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax 1379. William Turnbull was the bishop of Glasgow from 1448 until 1454, and William Trubel was the canon of Glasgow in 1452. Mark Trumble appears in records as the bailie in Glasgow in 1609. The acquisition of surnames in Europe and England, during the last eight hundred years has been affected by many factors, including social class and social structure, naming practices in cultures and traditions. On the whole the richer and more powerful classes tended to acquire surnames earlier than the working class or the poor, while surnames were quicker to catch on in urban areas than in more sparsely populated rural areas. The bulk of surnames in England were formed in the 13th and 14th centuries. The process started earlier and continued in place names into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the 11th century people did not have surnames, whereas by the 15th century they did.
The Turnbulls were among the most turbulent of the Border clans. William Paterson Turnbull (1830-1871) was the American ornithologist, born in Fala, Midlothian, and Frederick Turnbull (1847-1909) born in Glasgow, introduced turkey-red dying into the United States.
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