Templeton Name Study

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Categories: Templeton Name Study | One Name Studies | DNA Projects | Ireland, Templeton Name Study.

This profile is part of the Templeton Name Study.

This is a One Name Study to collect together in one place everything about the surname Templeton and its variants. The hope is that other researchers like you will join our study to help make it a valuable reference point for people studying lines that cross or intersect. Please contact the project leader, M. Gaulden add categories to your profiles, add your questions to the bulletin board, add details of your name research, etc.

Origins of the Templeton Name

There are several versions of how the name Templeton, with various spellings, came to be derived. Some might be true, or have some truth, and some may be simply romantic folklore.

One popular version states the name is associated with the Knights Templar. This version is derived from two sources. One source is based on the description of the paschal lamb on Templeton coat of arms which is stated to represent Christians who performed service in Holy Land during the crusades. The other source is based on combining two words. The French word “templier” has been translated as meaning Templar, as in Knights Templar. The second word is from the older Anglo-Saxon word “tun” which was corrupted to the Old English “ton,” which means farm, hamlet or village. Combining the two, one comes up with Templeton – sort of. It seems the line was connected with the crusades in some manner but it does not necessarily mean any Templetons were Templars or that the name was derived from the Templars (additional information below).

A second version of the name derivation is more plausible. An Old English word “templ” meant a place of worship and it did not necessarily mean a place of Christian worship if in use prior to the growth of Christianity in the British Isles. Per the Oxford Dictionaries we have “Old English templ, temple reinforced in Middle English by Old French temple, both from Latin templum 'open or consecrated space’.” Add to this “tun” or “ton” we would get Templeton, Templetun, Templetoun, Templetoune, etc. This is a more logical explanation since surnames came about when taxing was introduced in England. The addition of a surname helped the tax collector distinguish between those whose given name was the same. The surname was usually taken from the name of a geographical feature or a hamlet, town, farm, village in the area where the individual lived. When we consider the French preposition “de” we can better understand the origin of the name. “De” means “of” or “from”. Some of the earliest names associated with the Templeton line are: Gilbert de Templeton; Jacobus de Templetoun and Johne Tempilton – all of an area of Ayrshire, Scotland. Also, there is Gilbertus de Tempilton of Rothesay, Scotland, whose name is mentioned in 1295 and seems to be the earliest mention of an individual with the name. (It needs to be verified if at one time there was a village named Templeton in Ayrshire.) On page 196 of Henry Thornhill Timmins book Nooks and Corners of Pembrokeshire we have a description of a Templeton village in Wales. He stated of the Templeton village: “which doubtless derives its name from that martial fraternity.” Mr. Timmins further states the village once had a village cross and a wayside chapel. So, is Mr. Timmins correct in stating the village was named after inhabitants or were the inhabitants named after the village?

Of more importance to the name derivation, there is a Templeton village in Devonshire, and listed by that name as a parish of England. Per the Doomsday Book (See note at the end of this article on the book) the place name Templeton in the shire of Devon was in existence as early as 1086 AD. This Templeton place name predates the founding of the Knights Templar. After the 1st Crusade (1096-1099), Christian pilgrims began visiting the Holy Land but a number were attacked and killed by Muslims. In 1118 a French knight named Hugues de Payens founded a small military order called The Poor Knights of the Temple of King Solomon. Its headquarters was located on the Temple Mount, with the purpose of protecting Christian visitors to Jerusalem. The order received formal endorsement from the church in 1129. The change to the Knights Templar came about later.

The place name in Devonshire predates the name of Gilbertus de Tempilton (Templeton) of Rothesay, Ayr, by 200 years. This brings up a more important question. If a Templeton place name existed in England in 1086, then is it true the origin of the name is Scottish?

The next issue is how or when the Templeton name (note: name and not DNA) got to Ireland. It could have been introduced anytime beginning in the late 12th century when the Normans invaded Ireland. On 22 August 1485, King Henry VII came to the throne and was titled King of England and Lord of Ireland. He then appointed his son, Prince John Lackland, as the Lord of Ireland. King Henry VIII increased English presence in Ireland beginning in 1534. As a result, a crown policy known as “plantation” was introduced. Under plantation, it is stated thousands of English and Scots Protestants replaced the Catholic land owners. With the Irish rebellion of 1641, Oliver Cromwell made his conquest of Ireland, further expanding English dominance and presence.

Further to the above, the following is a quoted explanation/description of English plantation in Ireland:

"Plantations in 16th and 17th century Ireland were the confiscation of land by the English crown and the colonization of this land with settlers from England and the Scottish Lowlands. They followed smaller-scale immigration to Ireland as far back as the 12th century, which had resulted in a distinct ethnicity in Ireland known as the Old English.

The 16th century plantations were established throughout the country by the confiscation of lands occupied by Gaelic clans and Hiberno-Norman dynasties, but principally in the provinces of Munster and Ulster. The lands were then granted by Crown authority to colonists ('planters') from England. This process began during the reign of Henry VIII and continued under Mary I and Elizabeth I. It was accelerated under James I, Charles I and Oliver Cromwell, and in their time the planters also came from Scotland.

The early plantations in the 16th century tended to be based on small 'exemplary' colonies. The later plantations were based on mass confiscations of land from Irish landowners and the subsequent importation of large numbers of settlers from England and Wales, later also from Scotland. The final official plantations took place under the English Commonwealth and Cromwell's Protectorate during the 1650s, when thousands of Parliamentarian soldiers were settled in Ireland."

Based the above, the Templeton surname could have been introduced (into Ireland) between the late 12th century and the 1650s. We have an example of the introduction of English surnames into Ireland with the Darby surname. The O’Carrolls of Ireland had a castle known as Leap Castle owned by William Odhar O’Carroll. A John Darby was an officer in Cromwell's army. When William was defeated and killed, the estate reverted to his daughter Finola. John Darby married Finola and the O’Carroll fortune, including the castle, became John’s. The castle was inhabited by the Darbys from 1642 to 1922.

Note on the Doomsday, or Domesday, Book: The Doomsday Book was a survey of most of England and Wales in 1086 AD by order of King William the Conqueror. King William sent men to each shire to determine how much each landholder had in land and livestock. Its worth would determine how much the tax would be. Not every area of England was covered, for various reasons. Some areas had not yet been conquered; some like the city of London and Winchester were tax exempt; and County Durham was not included as the Bishop of Durham was the taxing authority for that county.

- Ron Templeton



There are 1,414 DNA test connections to people named TEMPLETON on wikiTree.

Volunteer Researchers

Mags Gaulden

Spelling Variations on Templeton


Robert Tempellton appears in the Kilmaurs, Ayrshire Old Parish Register marriage index in August 1693 [1]



Johnne Tempiletoune's will was confirmed in Glasgow Commissary Court on 9 August 1617[2].



Robert Tempiltoun in Saltcoats in the Parish of Ardrossan's will was confirmed on 8 August 1577. [3]


Johnne Tempiltoune's will was proved in Glasgow Commissary Court on 3 February 1618[4].




James Templetoun appears in the Leith, Midlothian Old Parish Register marriage index in November 1597 [5] James Templeton - Their first child was christened Mary Templetoun, Female, Christening Date: 14 Aug, 1748, Christening Place: Campbeltown, Argyll, Scotland. Father: James Templetoun and Mother: Mary [6]


Christiane Templetoune's estate was confirmed on 20 July 1624 in Glasgow Commissary Court[7]

James Templetoune James Templetoune , Father: Robert Templetoune; Mother's Name:Margaret Cuthbertsone, [8]


Child Margaret Templetown, Female, Christening Date: 21 Aug, 1681; Christening Place: Campbeltown, Argyll, Scotland. Her father was Robert Templetown and mother, Margaret Reid, [9]

Resources Alphabetical Order by Author's Surname

  • Templeton Name Meaning from Archives.com "The derivation of the name is from the pre 7th century Olde English 'templ' referring to a pre-Christian place of worship, plus 'tun', a village or homestead."
  • "The Surnames of Scotland" by George Frazer Black , The New York Public Library, 1946. "Templeton, a surname found mainly in the shires of Ayr and Lanark, and probably derived from Templeton near Dundonald, Ayrshire. Gilbertus de Tempilton, rector of the church of Rothir' (Rothsay) in 1295 is probably Mestre (Master) Gilbert de Templeton of the county of Are who rendered homage for his possessions in 1296. His seal bears a Virgin and child, a monk at prayer below, and S' Gilb'ti de Temp'leton. Jacobus de Templetone held lands in Ayrshire in the reign of Robert the Bruce, and Johne Templetoun in Are, had a precept of remission for certain acts of his in 1491, and David Tempiltone was sergiand of the Burgh of Irvine, 1499. Jonet Templiltoun was retoured heir of Hugh Tempiltoun, 'fabriferrarius' and portioner of Corsehill-Kilwinning in 1676."


  1. 15/08/1693: TEMPELLTON, ROBERT; ANNA MILLER; FR203 (FR203); M; KILMAURS /AYR; GRO(S) 598/00 0010 0351; available at www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk
  2. Index of Confirmations & Inventories: TEMPILETOUNE, JOHNNE; 09/08/1617; IN HILHOUS, PARISH OF KILBRYDE; TESTAMENT DATIVE AND INVENTORY; GLASGOW COMMISSARY COURT; CC9/7/14; from www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk
  4. Index of Confirmations and Inventories: TEMPILTOUNE, JOHNNE; 03/02/1618; IN WINDIAGE, PARISH OF KILMARIS; [SPOUSE OF JONET DICKIE , BUT SEE ISSOBELL DICKIE 24/08/1624]; TESTAMENT TESTAMENTAR AND INVENTORY; GLASGOW COMMISSARY COURT; CC9/7/14; available on the ScotlandsPeople website
  5. 16/11/1597: TEMPLETOUN, JAMES; JONET BURGOUN; /FR2949 FR2949); M; LEITH SOUTH, EDINBURGH CITY CITY/MIDLOTHIAN; GRO(S) 692/02 0090 0187; available at www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk
  6. (Indexing Project (Batch) Number: C11507-5 , System Origin: Scotland-ODM , GS Film number: 1041004) "Scotland, Births and Baptisms, 1564-1950," index, FamilySearch ([1] : accessed 26 Nov 2014), James Templetoun in entry for Mary Templetoun, 14 Aug 1748; citing Campbeltown, Argyll, Scotland, reference ; FHL microfilm 1041004.
  8. indexing Project (Batch) Number: C11507-2."Scotland, Births and Baptisms, 1564-1950," index, FamilySearch ([2] : accessed 25 Nov 2014), Robert Templetoune in entry for James Templetoune, 28 Oct 1711; citing Campbeltown, Argyll, Scotland, reference ; FHL microfilm 1041003
  9. Indexing Project (Batch) Number: C11507-2 , System Origin: Scotland-ODM , GS Film number: 1041003. "Scotland, Births and Baptisms, 1564-1950," index, FamilySearch ([3] : accessed 26 Nov 2014), Robert Templetown in entry for Margaret Templetown, 21 Aug 1681; citing Campbeltown, Argyll, Scotland, reference ; FHL microfilm 1041003.

Adding Project Template

If you would like, you may add a project template to each profile included in your study. This will help raise awareness of your study & may increase collaboration. The code is:

{{One Name Study
| name = Templeton
| category = Templeton Name Study

{{One Name Study|name=Templeton}}

DNA by Location

This is a tool by which to help identify profiles which may belong to a DNA group/Family Group based on knownDNA and known migratory patterns. This is information taken from The Templeton DNA Chart. Some information on possible WikiTree matches are suppositions until proven.


County Unknown I2b I-M233

-1Alexander Templeton

County Antrim R1b M-222

2James Templeton
1Robert Templeton, Sr.
2Robert Templeton, Jr.
2John Templeton
1David Templeton Probable origin.
1James Templeton, Sr. 1723


County of Perth I2b I-M233

-2David Templeton

United States


Fayette County R1b M-222
3Robert A "Sandy" Templeton
Franklin County R1b M-222
2William Templeton
2Robert Templeton
2David Henry Templeton
2James Templeton
2James Madison Templeton Unknown if migrated.
Ripley County
Union County R1b M-222
2David Clark Templeton
2John Franklin Templeton




Pike County R1b M-222
1James Templeton, Sr.
2James Templeton, Jr.

North Carolina

Burke County I2b I-M233?
2Samuel Templeton Samuel Templeton Match?
Iredell County
Coddle Creek I2b I-M233
0David Templeton David TempletonMatch?
1Samuel Templeton
2Samuel Templeton Samuel Templeton Match?
Davidson Creek R1b M-222
2Robert Templeton Unproven
2Joseph Templeton
2George Templeton
2Nathaniel Templeton
3David Templeton Unknown if migrated.
3Joseph Templeton, Jr.
3Ephriam Templeton Unknown if migrated.
Elk Shoals R1b M-222
Iredell ?
3John Templeton
4James Templeton
N. Iredell R L-473
1Thomas Richard Templeton Location unknown - supposition
2Rachel Templeton Probable - asked Jack 3-12-15 - supposition


Lawrence County R-L743
1 Creed Taylor Templeton

South Carolina

York County ?
4John Templeton
4Ezekiel Templeton
R1b M-222
Laurens County R1b M-222
2James Templeton
2Robert Templeton
2John Templeton
2William Templeton Unknown if migrated.
Clinton R1b M-222
2David Templeton
2David Templeton
Rocky Springs R1b M-222
4Christopher Lee Templeton
3James Oliver Templeton
2John Templeton


Warren County ?

4William Templeton
4Thomas Templeton

White County R1b M-222

2James Templeton

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Templeton Name Study Image 1

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On 19 Mar 2015 at 01:19 GMT Mags Gaulden wrote:

Great wirte-up on the name Templeton, Ron Templeton! Thank you, Mags