Monday, July 5, 2021

The Trumble/Trumbull Family of Lebanon, Connecticut, Descendants of the Turnbull Clan of Scotland

 



The Trumble/Trumbull Family of Lebanon, Connecticut,
Descendants of the Turnbull Clan of Scotland

"Fortuna Favet Audaci" 
~ Fortune Favors the Bold ~
(Family Motto of the Trumbull Family of Lebanon, Connecticut)




"Between red ezlar banks, that frightful scowl,
Fringed with gray hazel, roars the mining Roull;
Where Turnbulls once, a race no power could awe,
Lined the rough skirts of stormy Ruberslaw.
Bold was the chief, from whom their line they draw,
Whose nervous arm the furious bison slew;
The Bison, fiercest race of Scotia's breed,
Whose bounding course outstripped the red-deer's speed.
By hunters chafed, encircled on the plain,
He, frowning, shook his yellow lion-mane,
Spurned, with black hoof, in bursting rage, the ground,
and fiercely tossed his moony horns around.
On Scotia's lord he rushed, with lightning speed,
Bent his strong neck, to toss the startled steed;
His arms robust the hardy hunter flung
Around his bending horns, and upward wrung,
With writhing force his neck retorted round,
And rolled the panting monster on the ground,
Crushed, with enormous strength, his bony skull;
And courtiers hailed the man, who turned the bull."[1]



Turning of the Bull Monument, sculpted by Angela Hunter, Hawick Heritage Hub, Hawick, Scotland. (Sponsored by the Turnbull Clan Association) Photos used courtesy of Wally Turnbull, Past-President, Turnbull Clan Association.



"I Saved The King"
(Turnbull Clan Motto)



It is said, the Turnbull family descends from William of Rule. "This William is thought to have been the first who bore the surname of Turnbull, which he gained on account of a gallant exploit, by which he saved King Robert Bruce from the attacks of a wild bull while hunting in the forest of Callander. The wild animal attacked the king, unhorsed him, and would have killed him but for Rule, who threw himself between the king and the bull, seized it by the horns, and, by the exertion of a strength which no other man of the time possessed, overturned and killed it."[2] 

"The origin of the honourable name of Turnbull is known to most readers of Border history, who remember how the Bruce, while hunting in the forests, nearly lost his life under the attack of a furious wild bull -- such a one as those whose heads now adorn many Antiquarian Museums -- when one of his yeomen, rushing between the monarch and the infuriated animal, seized it by the horns, and with one tremendous wrench turned the bull's neck about. In reward of his act of daring he received the name of Turnbull, and a grant of the vale of the Rule."[3]

The Rev. James Morton elaborates further, "The valley of the Roul, or Rule, was till a late period chiefly inhabited by the Turnbulls, descendants of a hardy, turbulent clan, that derived its name and origin from a man of enormous strength, who rescued King Robert Bruce, when hunting in the forest of Callender, from the attack of a Scottish bison. The circumstance is mentioned by Boece, in his history of Scotland. He describes the Scottish bison as of a white colour, with a crisp and curling mane, like a lion. It abhorred the sight of men, and attacked them with dreadful impetuosity; it refused to taste the grass, for several days, that had been touched by man, and died of grief when taken and confined. Its motion was swift and bounding, resembling that of a deer, the agile make of which it combined in its form with the strength of an ox. The breed is now extinct. From this action, the name of the hero was changed from Rule to Turnbull, and he received a grant of the lands of Bedrule."[4] 

Mr. Alexander Jeffrey sums it up by stating, "Such is said to have been the origin of the name of Turnbull. The statement of Boece receives considerable support, from the fact of King Robert Bruce having granted in 1315 to William, called Turnebull, that piece of land which lies on the west side of Fulhophalch (Philiphaugh), as far into the forest as it was ploughed in past times, for a reddendo of one broad arrow at the feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. The way in which Turnbull is designed in this grant is almost sufficient itself to establish the truth of the account given by Boece. The charter not only bears that the grantee was called Turnebull, but the spelling of the name is descriptive of the exploit, Turn e bull (i.e. turn the bull). The account derives additional confirmation from the circumstance that previous to the granting of the above charter the name of Turnebull is not to be seen on record. I have little doubt that the manner in which the name of Turnbull was acquired is substantially true. William Turnbull fell in single combat, fought between him and Sir Robert Benhale previous to the commencement of the battle of Halidon Hill."[5] The battle of Halidon Hill took place on July 19, 1333, part of the Second War of Scottish Independence.[6]

"There is no doubt, however, that from him the once powerful Scottish clan of Turnbull took its origin, . . ."[7]

For more information on the Scottish Turnbull clan, visit the Turnbull Clan Association at:






Both the names Trumble and Trumbull are Turnbull Septs. A Sept, as defined by the Merriam-Webster online dictionary is, "a branch of a family. especially: CLAN."

Descendants of the Trumble/Trumbull Family of Lebanon, Connecticut, can trace their ancestry back to John Trumble, and his wife, Elinor Chandler, of Newcastle-on-Tyne, Northumberland, England. The parentage of both John Trumble, and his wife, Elinor Chandler, is unknown? There is much debate and skepticism over whether John Trumble was the son of James Trumble, and his wife, Janet Straker? And as stated by James Henry Lea, who could not find anything regarding their parentage in the records of Newcastle-on-Tyne, "It may be, however, that we must look further afield and across the Scottish border. It has always been believed that the Trumbulls of England were descended from the broken remnants of the once powerful border clan of Turnbull, whose romantic origin is so well known,* and which, harried in turn by Scotch and English forays, was finally broken up and scattered."[8] He also goes on to state that, "The alien tax in the Lay Subsidies at the Public Record Office in Fetter Lane, the results of a brief examination of which are printed herewith, seems to clearly indicate the Scotch origin of the Trumbulls, and so to point out to the Clan Turnbull of Bedrule as the progenitors of the race."[9]  

Doubtless, we are only a few missing generations before we find an ancestral grandfather who spelled his name, Turnbull.


"For what writer could tell the difference in our northern manner of 
pronouncing Cay and Kay ; Carr and Kerr ; Leighton, Leaton and Layton ; 
Turnbull and Trumbull ; . . . .[10]

"The corrupted spelling of the name is accounted for by the late Doctor J. Hammond Trumbull with the surmise that the Scotch pronunciation gave such prominence to the letter r that it first caught the ear of the scrivener, who in pursuance of the usual phonetic spelling of the surnames of the day wrote Trumbull for Turnbull, and even went further by spelling the last syllable b-l-e, as it is usually found in the English and American records of the sixteenth, seventeenth and first half of the eighteenth centuries. Scotchmen tell us that the name is spelled Turnbull and pronounced Trumbull to this day."[11]



Gravestone of my ancestral grandparents, John Trumble, and his wife, Elinor Chandler, of Newcastle-on-Tyne, Northumberland, England. Immigrant ancestors of the Trumble/Trumbull Family of Lebanon, Connecticut. Old Cemetery, Rowley, Massachusetts.


"John Trumble, immigrant ancestor of this family, was a cooper, and came to New England from Newcastle-on-Tyne, Northumberland, England. He settled at Rowley, [Massachusetts,] in 1640, and filled the offices of town clerk and schoolmaster."[12]

"John Trumble, Cooper, of Roxbury in 1639, and among the first members of Mr. Eliot's Church there, and the following year (13 May 1640) made freeman of Rowley. He brought to this country a wife Ellen and son John."[13]


For more information on the descendants of John Trumble and Elinor Chandler, see:





Gravestones of my ancestral grandparents, Captain Joseph Trumble, Sr. (grandson of John Trumble and Elinor Chandler), Patriarch of the Trumble/Trumbull Family of Lebanon, Connecticut, and his wife, Hannah Higley. Trumbull Cemetery, Lebanon, Connecticut.



"He was distinguished for high integrity and great enterprise as a merchant, active in all the local affairs of the church and the town, and for many years captain of the train-band. He was the father of Jonathan, the "war Governor," and was the founder of the Lebanon branch of the family."[14]



Tradition states that Captain Joseph Trumble, Sr., had his store built (later used by his son, Gov. Jonathan Trumbull, as his, "War Office," during the American Revolution) circa 1727; and his house (later inherited by his son, Gov. Jonathan Trumbull, in 1755) was built in 1735/40. Both buildings (although not in their original locations) are operated as museums by the CTSSAR and CTDAR.



"God's best gift to Lebanon was its first settlers. Captain Joseph Trumbull, the first of the name here, and the founder of the Lebanon branch of the family, settled here in 1704, just after the town was organized. He was a farmer and a merchant, and subsequently engaged, with his sons, in foreign commerce, building vessels of their own on the Thames and the Connecticut, and exchanging their exports for imports from the West Indies, England, and Holland. He had eight children, four sons and four daughters, of whom his oldest son, Joseph, his partner in business and supercargo of one of their ships, was lost at sea, and David, the youngest, was drowned in the millpond at home on his college vacation. Jonathan, the "War Governor," had just graduated from college and finished his preparation for the ministry, and was to have been settled in Colchester, when his brother was lost at sea, and he felt constrained to abandon the ministry and go to the assistance of his father. Here he acquired that business knowledge and ability which proved so valuable when he came to administer the affairs of the State and succor Washington and his army in their extremity. No wonder General Washington looked to him with hope when he could find help nowhere else, saying, "Let us see what Brother Jonathan can do for us"; and little wonder that he found it when the State responded with such contributions and sacrifices to the appeals of their heroic Governor."[15]


During a 1763-1764 business trip to London, Joseph Trumble, son of Jonathan Trumble (Gov. Jonathan Trumbull, Sr.), visited the Herald's Office. His research there would lead to the spelling change of the family name from Trumble to Trumbull, the adoption of a Trumbull family coat of arms, and the Trumbull family motto, "Fortuna Favet Audaci." (Fortune Favors the Bold)

"And having, from some investigations made at the Herald's Office in London, been led to change the spelling of his name in the last syllable, from ble to bull --- a change which in 1766 his father also adopted."[16]

"Among other things, he busied himself at the herald's office, where his researches led him to adopt the present spelling of his surname, which was also adopted by his father soon after the son's return."[17]

During the American Revolution, The Connecticut Privateer, "Governor Trumbull," bore the motto of the Trumbull family on its pennant or streamer. 

"Among the very large number of war-vessels fitted out by this State two notedly successful ones bore his own honored name, viz., the frigate "Trumbull' and the audacious privateer "Governor Trumbull," the latter bearing aloft on her pennant the Trumbull motto, "Fortuna favet audaci."[18]

Trumbull's biographer, Isaac Stuart, in his, "Life of Jonathan Trumbull, Sen., Governor of Connecticut," states that, "He sprang from a family, which, it is now fully established, is a branch of the Turnbulls of Scotland, and owed its heraldic origin to the desperate gallantry of a young peasant, who when one of the kings of that country, being engaged in the chase, was attacked by a bull, and was in imminent danger --- "threw himself before the king, and with equal strength, dexterity, and good fortune, seized the animal by the horn, turned him aside, and thus saved the royal life. The king, grateful for the act, commanded the hitherto obscure youth to assume the name of Turnbull, and gave him an estate near Peebles, and a coat of arms --- three bulls' heads, with the motto, Fortuna favet audaci" --- bearings which are still preserved in the American branch of the family."[19]

In 1870, during the Bicentennial Celebration of the Town of Suffield, in a letter by J. Hammond Trumbull (James Hammond Trumbull served as the first Connecticut State Librarian in 1854, and as Secretary of the State of Connecticut from 1861-1866.[20]), he states, 

"I have mentioned the clan of the Trumbulls, and that word suggests the Scottish origin of the surname and birthplace of the family.

In the course of two or three generations, the descendants of the "raiding and rieving" borderers were trained to good citizenship, and by the time Connecticut began to be settled, the Trumbles -- some of them at least -- were qualified to become planters in a "land of steady habits," and deacons in puritan churches."[21]




"Governor Trumbull was possessed of traits of character which are distinctively Scotch. His tenacity of purpose, his indomitable perseverance, his keen sense of duty, and the deeply devotional and religious spirit which animated and informed his whole career are so conspicuous and so Scottish that they seem to mark the man and his race."[22]

It's interesting, that an article appearing in, The New York Times, May 17, 1891, titled, "Old Trumbull "War Office"," substitutes the name Turnbull for Trumbull.

"Voted, That the [CTSSAR] Secretary be and hereby is instructed to draw up and circulate papers for a memorial fund to be used for the necessary repairs and preservation of the "Old Turnbull War Office," at Lebanon, Conn.; for the erection of landmarks on historical spots, care of the graves and monuments of our Revolutionary ancestors, and, in general, the preservation of those things which tell the story of our Nation's birth in this State."[23]


Over the years, I have encouraged Trumbull Family Descendants to wear Turnbull tartan to the Annual CTSSAR Gov. Jonathan Trumbull Birthday Commemoration Ceremonies at the War Office in Lebanon, Connecticut.



My 18th century cocked hat with a wee bit of Turnbull tartan as a cockade.
Annual CTSSAR Gov. Jonathan Trumbull Birthday Commemoration Ceremonies
War Office, Lebanon, Connecticut



In closing, I think Jonathan Trumbull, a great-great grandson of Gov. Jonathan Trumbull, Sr., and a Past-President of the Connecticut Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, sums it up best.

"It is hardly probable that a distinct pedigree of Jonathan Trumbull will ever be traced showing his descent through all the generations from "the man who turned the bull" in or about the year 1315. It can only be said, in the absence of all other clues to his origin, that the theory of his descent from the originator of the clan Turnbull is plausible."[24]



Notes:


1. Scenes of Infancy: Descriptive of Teviotdale, John Leyden, Printed by James Ballantyne, Edinburgh, 1803, pages 25-26. Digitized by Google, Google books, <https://books.google.com>
2. The History and Antiquities of Roxburghshire and Adjacent Districts, From the Most Remote Period to the Present Time, Volume II, Alexander Jeffrey, London, 1857, page 326. Digitized by Google, Google books, <https://books.google.com>
3. A Chapter on Names, J. A. H. Murray, Secretary of the Hawick Archeological Society, The Border Magazine, October 1863, Edinburgh, 1863, pages 218-219. Digitized by Google, Google books, <https://books.google.com>
4. The Poetical Remains of the Late Dr. John Leyden, with Memoirs of his Life, The Rev. James Morton, Printed by Strahan and Spottiswoode, Printers-Street, London, 1819, pages 318-319. Digitized by Google, Google books, <https://books.google.com>
5. The History and Antiquities of Roxburghshire and Adjacent Districts, From the Most Remote Period to the Present Time, Volume II, Alexander Jeffrey, London, 1857, pages 327-328. Digitized by Google, Google books, <https://books.google.com>
6. Battle of Halidon Hill, Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.
7. Jonathan Trumbull, Governor of Connecticut, 1769-1784, By his Great-Great-Grandson Jonathan Trumbull, Little, Brown, and Company, Boston, 1919, page 2. Digitized by Internet Archive at <archive.org>
8. Contributions to a Trumbull Genealogy, From Gleanings in English Fields, James Henry Lea, David Clapp & Son, Boston, 1895, page 5. Digitized by Internet Archive at <archive.org>
9. Ibid. page 6.
10. The Burgesses Pole at the Late Election of Members for Newcastle Upon Tyne, The Second Edition, Corrected, Printed for the Editor, Newcastle, 1775. Digitized by Google, Google books, <https://books.google.com>
11. Jonathan Trumbull, Governor of Connecticut, 1769-1784, By his Great-Great-Grandson Jonathan Trumbull, Little, Brown, and Company, Boston, 1919, page 3. Digitized by Internet Archive at <archive.org>
12. William Richard Cutter, ed., Genealogical and Family History of the State of Connecticut, 4 vols. (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1911; repr. Baltimore, Md.: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1997), 1:403; Jonathan Trumbull, Jonathan Trumbull, Governor of Connecticut 1769-1784 (Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1919), page 4. Digitized by Internet Archive at <archive.org>
13. Contributions to a Trumbull Genealogy, from gleanings in English Fields, James Henry Lea, Boston: David Clapp & Son, 1895, page 3. Digitized by Internet Archive at <archive.org>
14. History of New London County, Connecticut, with Biographical Sketches of many of its Pioneers and Prominent Men, Compiled by D. Hamilton Hurd, J. W. Lewis & Co., Philadelphia, Press of J. B. Lippincott & Co., Philadelphia, 1882, page 491. Digitized by Google, Google books, <https://books.google.com>
15. The Lebanon War Office. The History of the Building, and Report of the Celebration at Lebanon, Conn., Flag Day, June 15, 1891., Edited by Jonathan Trumbull, Published by the Connecticut Society of Sons of the American Revolution, Press of the Case, Lockwood & Brainard Company, Hartford, Conn., 1891, page 75. Digitized by Google, Google books, <https://books.google.com>
16. Life of Jonathan Trumbull, Sen., Governor of Connecticut, I. W. Stuart, Crocker and Brewster, Boston, 1859, page 118. Digitized by Google, Google books, <https://books.google.com>
17. Jonathan Trumbull, Governor of Connecticut, 1769-1784, By his Great-Great-Grandson Jonathan Trumbull, Little, Brown, and Company, Boston, 1919, page 69. Digitized by Internet Archive at <archive.org>
18. History of New London County, Connecticut, with Biographical Sketches of many of its Pioneers and Prominent Men, Edited by D. Hamilton Hurd, J. W. Lewis & Co., Philadelphia, Press of J. B. Lippincott & Co., Philadelphia, 1882, page 492. Digitized by Google, Google books, <https://books.google.com>
19. Life of Jonathan Trumbull, Sen., Governor of Connecticut, I. W. Stuart, Crocker and Brewster, Boston, 1859, pages 25-26. Digitized by Google, Google books, <https://books.google.com>; see also; The Autobiography, Reminiscences and letters of John Trumbull from 1756 to 1841, John Trumbull, B. L. Hamlen, New Haven, 1841, page 1; Library of American Art, The Autobiography of Colonel John Trumbull, Patriot-Artist, 1756-1843, Edited by Theodore Sizer, Kennedy Graphics, Inc., Da Capo Press, New York, 1970, page 1.
20. James Hammond Trumbull, Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.
21. Celebration of the Bi-Centennial Anniversary of the Town of Suffield, Conn., Wednesday, Oct. 12, 1870, Wiley, Waterman & Eaton, Steam Book and Job Printers, Hartford, 1871, pages 89-91. Digitized by Google, Google books, <https://books.google.com>
22. Jonathan Trumbull, Governor of Connecticut, 1769-1784, By his Great-Great-Grandson Jonathan Trumbull, Little, Brown, and Company, Boston, 1919, pages 3-4. Digitized by Internet Archive at <archive.org>
23. Old Trumbull "War Office," A Grand Celebration to be Held Over its Restoration, The New York Times, May 17, 1891.
24. Jonathan Trumbull, Governor of Connecticut, 1769-1784, By his Great-Great-Grandson Jonathan Trumbull, Little, Brown, and Company, Boston, 1919, page 3. Digitized by Internet Archive at <archive.org>





The War Office is Owned and Maintained by
The Connecticut Society of the Sons of the American Revolution


The Governor Jonathan Trumbull House is Owned and Maintained by
The Connecticut Daughters of the American Revolution








Thursday, July 1, 2021

Sketch of Sarah (Trumble) Johnson Watrous of Lebanon and Colchester, Connecticut

 




Sketch of Sarah (Trumble) Johnson Watrous
of Lebanon and Colchester, Connecticut


Sarah Trumble was the daughter of Joseph Trumble, Jr., and his wife, Sarah Bulkeley. She was born at Lebanon, Connecticut. Her paternal grandfather was Captain Joseph Trumble, Sr., Patriarch of the Trumble/Trumbull Family of Lebanon, Connecticut; and her maternal grandfather was the Reverend John Bulkeley, First Minister at Colchester, Connecticut. Her paternal uncle was Jonathan Trumbull, Revolutionary War Governor of Connecticut, and his illustrious sons; Joseph, Jonathan, David, and John, were her first cousins. Sarah Trumble married twice; first, to Elijah Johnson of Colchester, Connecticut; and second, to Deliverance Watrous of Colchester, Connecticut. She named her oldest daughter, Catherine, most likely after her younger, and only sister, Catherine (Trumble) Burnham. Like her sister, Catherine, they both named their eldest sons, Joseph, most likely after their father, grandfather, and great grandfather. Sarah Trumble's son, Joseph Johnson of Colchester, Connecticut, was my great great . . . grandfather.




Introduction to The Lost Trumbull

The Lost Trumbull: The Descendants of Joseph Trumble, Jr. (1705-1731) of Lebanon, Connecticut

Sarah Trumble, The Wife of Elijah Johnson of Colchester, Connecticut

Sarah Trumble, The Wife of Elijah Johnson of Colchester, Connecticut, Part Two