The surname of TURNER was derived from the occupation of 'turner' a lathe-worker, a once familiar and skilled occupation. A family of this name has possession of the estate of Ardwall in the parish of New Abbey for many generations. Thomas Dictas Turner held land in Aberdeenshire in 1382. William Turnour, merchant of Scotland, was granted a safe conduct to travel into England in 1473. Johannes Turnour is recorded as a tenant in Kynmonty, Scotland in 1511. Alba, the country which became Scotland, was once shared by four races; the Picts who controlled most of the land north of the Central Belt; the Britons, who had their capital at Dumbarton and held sway over the south west, including modern Cumbria; the Angles, who were Germanic in origin and annexed much of the Eastern Borders in the seventh century, and the Scots. The latter came to Alba from the north of Ireland late in the 5th century to establish a colony in present day Argyll, which they named Dalriada, after their homeland. The Latin name SCOTTI simply means a Gaelic speaker. Originally the coat of arms identified the wearer, either in battle or in tournaments. Completely covered in body and facial armour the knight could be spotted and known by the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped garment which enveloped him. Between the 11th and 15th centuries it became customary for surnames to be assumed in Europe, but were not commonplace in England or Scotland before the Norman Conquest of 1066. They are to be found in the Domesday Book of 1086. Those of gentler blood assumed surnames at this time, but it was not until the reign of Edward II (1307-1327) that second names became general practice for all people. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Registered in Edinburgh in 1673. A notable member of the name was Victor Witter Turner (1920-83) the Scottish social anthropologist, born in Glasgow. He studied literature at London University, but moved to America where he was professor at Cornell.
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