Turnbull Clan Association

  • Turnbull of Tyneside, England


    EnglandTyneWearEditors note:Wikipedia describes "Tyneside is a conurbation in North East England, defined by the Office for National Statistics, which is home to over 80% of the population of Tyne and Wear. It includes the city of Newcastle upon Tyne and the Metropolitan Boroughs of Gateshead, North Tyneside and South Tyneside — all settlements on the banks of the River Tyne. The population of the conurbation was 879,996 according to the census of 2001, the 6th largest conurbation in the UK. The only large settlement in Tyne and Wear that is not part of the Tyneside conurbation is Sunderland which is on Wearside."

    The walls of Newcastle were built in 1265, in order to keep out the marauding Scots. The town was divided into 24 wards, with each ward having its own Tower. As the walls were 7ft thick and up to 25 feet high in parts, a great deal of maintenance was required. Every householder had their own specified parts to defend and fortify.

  • The Church of Scotland

    church1The roots of Scotland’s church reach back to the hazy origins of Christianity in Scotland. The story goes that around 400 A.D., when Scotland was still a series of independent often warring territories, St Ninian set out from Whithorn in the southwest and journeyed through Scotland converting Pictish folk to Christianity, which at that time meant the Holy Roman Church. Later in the fifth century St Columba, the Irish prince–in-exile, came to the Island of Iona on the western coast of Scotland and founded a community of monks whose mission it was to spread the Gospel through Scotland and Northern England. Scotland slowly became a Christian land.

  • My Family...The Story of Adriana’s Passion to Strengthen Family Bonds

    I come from a large family, my mother had 5 siblings, and my father 4. My parents had 8 children and 12  grandchildren. My mother was sixth generation Turnbull. My Scottish ancestor, Elliott Turnbull arrived in Mexico in the
    late 1800s. My mother was very proud of her ancestry and many years later, I was lucky to find out about the Turnbull Clan Association, join and learn more about the larger sense of family.
    It was my mother´s dream to bring together all her grandchildren. It was not an easy task because the eight grew up in different cities and countries. Unfortunately, my mother´s wishes only came true as a result of her passing in 2006. Knowing how much it meant to her, my siblings and I organized a memorial in which we did succeed to bring all of my mother´s children and grandchildren, together with cousins, and friends.

    Adriana editedAdriana (center, orange dress) with cousins, siblings, nieces, and nephews from around the world reunite as a family and bond in Houston, TX.

  • A Brief History of Castles

    castles motteA typical Motte and Bailey castle in the 12th century.Castles as we know them today are a far cry from the buildings of the early medieval era. Lost in history are the exact origins of these fortresses but we can surmise that they began as simple barriers set up as protection for the warriors of the day. Simple berms made from dirt and stone were set up and used as defense positions by soldiers and knights. These berms were eventually fortified with strong timber walls or palisades similar to the forts we see in the old western movies. However, late in the 9th century Nordic raiders, the Vikings began invading central Europe, specifically the area that is now France. The French at the time were not very organized and the raiders caused a great deal of havoc among the inhabitants, especially the nobles and these fortifications were no longer sufficient for protection. A defense method was needed to protect the interests of the population. The solution was to build castels (castles). These early castle were called Motte and Bailey castles.

    Motte and Bailey is a Norman French term the means mound and enclosed land. The palisades were enlarged, a mound or motte was built within the palisade and a building or Keep was built on the flat top of the mound. Timber was readily available and was employed as the main construction material. An additional timber wall was sometimes built around the keep for further protection. Other buildings were included in the outer grounds or bailey. As a further method of defense a large ditch, or fosse, was dug around the bailey and was often filled with water.

  • The Reivers

    A fine lot of folk... that is unless of course you happen to be English.

    Used Reiver Auld WatThe term reive is an old English word meaning to rob. Reivers were, in essence, mercenary soldiers that raided the border lands that separated Scotland from England.
    In truth there were reivers on both side of the border. From the late thirteenth century up until the end of the sixteenth, these groups raided across the border to gather the things needed to survive, or just wanted to have; sheep, cattle, horses, grain and other food stuffs, money, women and/or other prisoners that were then ransomed back. “You got something that I want. I’m coming to take it” might have been an unspoken motto amongst the reivers of the era. These raids inevitably invited retaliation from the offended personages.

  • The Geological History of Scotland


    geological map 1The peoples and products, the rulers and traditions of our homeland have oft been discussed in these articles. Today however I shall ramble on about the rock that is Scotland.Where did it come from? How long has Scotland been around? Things like that…
    Long, long ago and far far away… No wait, different story… Reboot… Beneath the beauty of Scotland’s landscape, under the cities lochs and rivers lies the stone and soil backbone that is the foundation of the civilization to which we are devoted. For we who live here in the twenty first century, especially for us Turnbulls, the history of Scotland starts with and around Robert the Bruce and his battle against England. The truth is that those events are very recent given the tremendous age of the Earth.

  • V. The Battle of Philiphaugh


    turnbull trails logo

    The Battle of Philiphaugh

    by Norman Turnbull
    Turnbull Clan High Shenachie

    The English civil War was really a British Civil War as it obviously embraced Wales, dragged in Ireland and had profound consequences for Scotland. After all Charles I was king of Scotland as well as England and he had his supporters and opponents both North and South of the Border.


    philiphaugh shots
    A permanent reminder of the Battle of Philiphaugh, this memorial plaque in remembrance of the Convenaters rests on what was once land given to William ‘Rule’ Turnebull by Robert the Bruce.

    Philiphaugh was not the usual English v Scots conflict but was a Scottish battle fought on Scottish soil between two sets of Scots; Royalists (supporters of the king) and Covenanters (those who supported the Covenant of 1638 pledged to protect the Presbyterian religion).

    In 1643, the Scottish Parliament decided to give military assistance to the English Parliamentarians, on the assumption that a Parliamentary victory would be in the best interests of Scotland.

    Although previously a supporter of the Covenanters, James Graham, Marquis of Montrose, remained loyal to the king and became the main champion of the Royalist cause north of the Border. In 1645, after a serious of stunning victories against the Covenanters, Charles I ordered him to march south to the Borders.

  • Remembering - The Hanging Tree

    The middle ages were at best a brutal time and even though 1510 was technically in the renaissance era things were still rather harsh. Capital punishment was used to punish offenders for what would be in today’s terms a misdemeanor. Torture was a common practice in getting confessions of all sorts of crimes whether the accused was guilty or not. Superstition was rampant and people were burned alive for supposed witchcraft and other misunderstood activities, such as herbal medicine. This was a time of leaches and bleeding as cures to disease. Reiving was a way of life for many families along the border between Scotland and England. It wasn’t thought of as thievery by the reivers but a simple way of surviving the harsh times. If you had something that I needed, or wanted, I would simply raid your home or farm and take it whether it was sheep, grain, cattle or women.

  • VIII. Covenanters of the 17th Century

    turnbull trails logo

    Covenanters of the 17th Century

    by Norman Turnbull
    Turnbull Clan High Shenachie

    The Covenanters were a Scottish Presbyterian movement that played an important part in the history of Scotland, and to a lesser extent in that of England and Ireland, during the 17th century. Presbyterian denominations tracing their history to the Covenanters and often incorporating the name continue the ideas and traditions in Scotland and internationally.

    They derive their name from the Scots term (covenant) for a band or legal document. There were two important covenants in Scottish history, the National Covenant and the Solemn League and Covenant.

    The Solemn League and Covenant was an agreement between the Scottish Covenanters and the leaders of the English Parliamentarians. It was agreed to in 1643, during the first English Civil War.

  • IV. Border Battles and Conflicts

    turnbull trails logo

    Border Battles and Conflicts

    by Norman Turnbull
    Turnbull Clan High Shenachie

    Very few Border Battles have been recorded without one or more of the Turnbull’s being implicated and, indeed, when the occasion arose, the whole of the Turnbull Clan rallied to the Douglases, and their neighbours, in defending their country and their homeland, besides relishing any opportunity in battling with the “auld enemy” over the Border.


    battle of otterburn
    Today a memorial sign commemorates the Battle of Otterburn between the Percies and Douglases.

    The battle of Otterburn on 19 August 1388 was one of the classic conflicts in the long feud between two of the most powerful of the Border families; the Percies on the English side and the Douglases on the Scottish side. Taking advantage of the fact that the English king Richard II was a minor, James, 2nd Earl of Douglas, led a raiding party into England in 1388.

  • From Arbroath to the World

    arbroath scotland
    Arbroath, Scotland

    Tartan Day originated in Nova Scotia, Canada, because of a proposal from the Federation of Scottish Clans. The Ontario Legislature passed a resolution in 1991 proclaiming April 6th as Tartan Day. The United States began similar action in 1998 which eventually resulted in a House Resolution proclaiming April 6 as National Tartan Day. April 6 is significant as this is the date in 1320 that the Declaration of Arbroath, the Scottish Declaration of Independence, was signed. It is interesting to note that the American Declaration of Independence was modeled in part after this document. Almost half the signers of the Declaration of Independence were of Scottish descent and the Governors in 9 of the original 13 states were Scottish-Americans.

  • TCA Celebrates 30 Years – 1977-2007


    turnbull john fisherThe year was 1977 and the man was John F. Turnbull of Hawick, Scotland. John founded Turnbull Clan Association to reestablish a link with Turnbulls worldwide and their rich heritage. Working endlessly with his wife Myra as his personal assistant, the two wrote letters and addressed envelopes by hand, mailing to any Turnbull worldwide that they could find. They would sit in their living room and plan Turnbull events with fellow members and write to members. Then Myra would address envelope after envelope. Myra tells how she gave up her golf afternoon to work with John and promote the Clan.

  • The New Scottish Regiment

    When I was in Scotland last year, I heard some discussion about the Scottish Regiments being merged.  Indeed when I revisited Edinburgh Castle I was speaking with a tourist guide who had served in the Highlanders Regiment, and that day the Colonels of all of the Scottish Regiments were meeting to discuss their forced merger by the Government.  In Scotland there are war memorials all over the place, and the name Turnbull came up many times, especially in Glasgow and the Lowlands, listing the name of the Turnbull who had died and the regiment or the Service in which he served and died.

    Getting the latest news from Scotland has not been easy, however a recent letter from Scotland posted in the DUBH GHLASE the publication of the Clan Douglas Society has given an update on the recent developments.  Part of this re-organization is part of the Labor (Labour) Government’s continued re-structuring of the Armed Services of Great Britain, and reflects the more technological aspects of modern warfare, where there is less reliance on the BPI (Poor Bloody Infantry).

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