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Origins of the name Turcault

Where did the name come from?

While the simplified explanation of Turcotte came from turk, there is the persistent aspect that the family name has been Turcault, Turcaud, Turcot, Turcott, Turquot and Turcotte, consistently 2 syllables. With codex of t-623 or t-624, not t-620

On the other hand, during the crusades, there was a group, called by the 'foal of the turks' by the Byzantine Greeks, a group of christians, second-generation Frankish warriors of mixed blood, called the turcople/turcopole (Codex of t-621)

Taking the tendency of the english (and french) language to assimilate phonically, / t / changes to / p / before / m / or / b /


Turcott(e)'s Possibly descended from Crusader

The Turcott Surname in France

Turcott of french surnames, it has been said that they came into existence around the year 1000 and were mostly confined to the nobility. The employment of surnames in England in the eleventh century was one of the results of the Norman (French) conquest of 1066 which was carried out under William the Conqueror.

The french name Turcott and it's variants Turco, Turc, Turq, and LeTurc is of nickname origin, that is, descriptive of some personal or physical characteristic of the initial bearer of this surname. In this instance, the name is a nickname derived from the medieval French "turc" which in turn comes from the middle latin "turcus" meaning "a turk". Turk was a term used to describe a Mohamadan or all infidels, that is non-Christians. Thus the surname Turcott was a medieval nickname applied to a crusader.

The crusades (from Latin "crux" meaning "Cross") were a series of religious wars waged by the christian nations of Europe during the eleventh, twelfth and thirteenth centuries for the recovery of the holy land from the Moslems.

This surname can also be found in England, probably introduced there during the third crusade (1187-1192). In fact, the earliest written record of this surname is English from 1188 when one Ricardus Filius (son of) Torke is recorded in the "pipe rolls" of Yorkshire England.

In 1193 one William Le (the) Turk is listed in the "pipe rolls" of Gloucestershire and Robert Turk is mentioned in the "subsidy rolls" of Sussex in 1296.

Coat of Arms/Blazon of ARMS:

Gules, on a chief argent the head of the turk sable, with a head band argent.


The head of the turk acts as a pun on the origin of this surname. Gules or red, symbolizes the planet mars and denotes Military Fortitude, Valour, Joy and Honour.

Argent or White, symbolizes the moon and denotes Purity and Obedience.

Crest: The head of the turk.

Origin: France

Source: The Historical Research Center, Inc. issued to me on 23rd Feb 1993 Registration no#10439


One a chief argent=on a white upper third

The head of the turk=the black head of a turcople/turcopole (Note: not saracen or moor)

With a head band argent=with a white headband

below is my webpage:


also visit the Turck webpage:






Turcopoles were the Latin Syrian mercenaries employed by the Order. These were light mounted troops used as auxiliaries and scouts and were known for their use of the composite bow and their skill at Saracen fighting techniques.

A Turcopole may advance to Sergeant level after 1 year or 10 shows (whichever is the greater) and after proving he has the standard of kit required.

Description: A turcopole is a second-generation Frankish warrior of mixed blood -- most were of Syrian, Armenian, or Turkish descent. Such warriors generally serve the Crusaders as light horsemen, either scouts or mounted archers. Since turcopoles are often darker than the Franks, they might infiltrate enemy lands as spies. Both the Templars and Hospitallers field significant numbers of turcopoles as non-brethren auxiliaries.


After fighting Saracen cavalry, the Crusaders realised that knights were not suited to war in the Holy Land. To counter the nimble Saracens, the Westerners recruited local mercenaries. These Turcopoles are lightly armoured and carry both bows and spears, making them a flexible unit type in combat.

On many border areas lighter lance armed cavalry were used to pursue raiders etc. In the Holy Land troops called Turcopoles were lighter armoured and armed with lance and bow to help combat the more mobile Muslim forces and to serve the same function. Turcopole is a word derived from Byzantine Greek for "foal of a Turk". Many would be mixed race Christians.


Subject: Re: What was a turcopolier

Newsgroups: soc.genealogy.britain

Date: 1999/11/19

A turcopole in the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem was a lightly-armed soldier. The turcopolier was a fairly high officer who was ex-officio a commander of the turcopoles.



Subject: Re: Arab histories of Crusades

Newsgroups: soc.history.medieval

Date: 1998/11/27

I do know the Byzantines were not excited about them. As long as the Franks stayed under the control of Constantinople they did not mind them to much, but looked on them as another barbarians. And the "Franks" look at the greeks (Byzantines) as snobbish, tricky and little better than effeminate sneaky thieves.

Later with the Kingdoms of Jerusalem and its sub-groups, the locals look on the new arrivals in other terms, like "continually opening hornets nests" since many of the locals were much like the Spanish were, almost friendly with their opposite numbers. It sure helped to maintain the peace, since the Kingdom of Jerusalem was barely there at its best, and died badly at its worst..

The Arabs (Muslims actually) looked on the Christians in various ways. Depending on how close the Muslims were to the Christians. And other factors, for by some definitions the Muslims and Christians are both, including the Jews, all children of the book, and as such should work together against the the forces of Evil, but how often does that happen (look at Lebanon today)..

I believe the Drus sect comes from c.1000 or earlier (see modern history namely Palestine (Lebanon area). The Drus and like sects have always been a thorn, even in medieval times. The term Assassin comes from c.1100 or so.. I think it was the Drus or other sect who originated the anglicized term.

Saladin (English form of his name) was willing to work and from all accounts was friendly with the crusaders to a point, since he had a lot of other problems to deal with than just the crusaders.. Enemies of mine and yours, make us friends for now sort of logic..

The words like Turcopole (light auxiliary cavalry - namely local christians such as Armenians and others, or other locals). The Turcopoles were good against the the non-christians armies, who had a lot of light horse.. As the I believe Templers found out about the hard way a few times.

I am remembering things as I go..

But it would be interesting to see more other side of the coin text in English/German. I think it would be greatly interesting.. Especially to see how modern day prejudices and like and why..



Subject: Poulain


Date: 1996/01/17

Someone posted a question about "poulains", but the original posting has now disappeared from my server. If I recall my history of the Crusades, a poulain is a child of a mixed marriage--Frank and Middle Eastern (not necessarily Moslem--could be Syrian Christian, etc.) If you're looking for a basic introduction to the topic, you should look for Steven Runciman's _A History of the Crusades_. This is in three volumes, but it's available in paperback and can be found in used book stores. Any good research library should have a copy. If you're looking in the index, you should also check "turcopole". The Byzantines had the same intermarriage problem, but with Turks. The offspring formed a corps of light-armed cavalry in the Byzantine army.

I believe the original posting said something about the Third Crusade. Acculturation and intermarriage were much more common before the loss of Jerusalem, which caused the remaining crusaders to adopt a siege mentality. You might think about changing your dates to just after the First Crusade.

For a Muslim point of view on interaction between crusaders and Arabs, see Usama, _An Arab-Syrian Gentleman_, available in the Columbia Records of Civilization series (now in paperback). There's also a book called _The Crusades through Arab Eyes_. I forget the author.

Finally, you can't go wrong with the articles on the Crusades in the Dictionary of the Middle Ages. Good luck with your research.

Melanie de la Tour

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