Alan Turing OBE, FRS

Alan Mathison Turing OBE, FRS (1912 - 1954)

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Alan Mathison Turing OBE, FRS
Born in Maida Vale, London, Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
[spouse(s) unknown]
[children unknown]
Died in Wilmslow, Cheshire, Englandmap
Profile last modified | Created 24 Sep 2014 | Last significant change: 10 Dec 2018
15:29: Nicolas LaPointe edited the Biography for Alan Mathison Turing OBE, FRS (1912-1954). [Thank Nicolas for this]
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Categories: Officers of the Order of the British Empire | Bletchley Park | Fellows of the Royal Society | LGBT | English Notables.


Alan Turing OBE, FRS is Notable.

Alan Turing was a founder of computer science, mathematician and a cryptographer who designed a machine to help break the German Enigma encrypted messages in World War 2. Winston Churchill said that Turing made the single biggest contribution to Allied victory in the war against Nazi Germany.

Turing was educated at Sherborne College and Cambridge University, and received a PhD from Princeton.

Max Von Neumann acknowledged that the central concept of the modern computer was due to Turing's paper in 1936, and Turing machines are to this day a central object of study in theory of computation.

During the Second World War, Turing was a leading participant in the breaking of German ciphers at Bletchley Park. Turing had specified an electromechanical machine called a bombe that could help break Enigma more effectively than the Polish bomba kryptologiczna, from which its name was derived. The bombe, with an enhancement suggested by mathematician Gordon Welchman, became one of the primary tools, and the major automated one, used to attack Enigma-enciphered messages.

In 1945, Turing was awarded the OBE by King George VI for his wartime services, but his work remained secret for many years.

From 1945 to 1947, Turing worked on the design of the ACE (Automatic Computing Engine) at the National Physical Laboratory. He presented a paper on 19 February 1946, which was the first detailed design of a stored-program computer.

In 1950 while at Manchester University, Turing addressed the problem of artificial intelligence, and proposed an experiment which became known as the Turing test, an attempt to define a standard for a machine to be called "intelligent". The idea was that a computer could be said to "think" if a human interrogator could not tell it apart, through conversation, from a human being.

Shortly before his death, due to cyanide poisoning, he had created a computer chess program, and tried to implement it on a Ferranti Mark 1, but lacking enough power, the computer was unable to execute the program.

Genealogical discoveries

Research on WikiTree has revealed the following family links:

  • AMT's mother Ethel Stoney was descended from the Stoney family, Irish landed gentry who are listed in Burke's Family Records. Records of this family, with its earlier origins in Yorkshire, go back to 1379.
  • AMT's paternal grandmother, Fanny M Boyd, was the daughter of Mossom Boyd, a Major-General in the East India Company Service. Boyd was the progenitor of a large dynasty of EICS officers and, through his marriage to Isabella Chambers, was also related to the directors of the Company.
  • Another Mossom Boyd, grandson of the above Mossom Boyd, settled in Canada and started a successful lumber business, where he became known as "the lumber king of the Trent".[1]
  • AMT's nephew, Sir John Dermot Turing, is 12th baronet Turing of Foveran[2]


  1. "Mossom Boyd", Wikipedia
  • "Alan Turing", Wikipedia
  • Spencer, Clare. "Profile: Alan Turing". BBC. Archived
  • The Essential Turing by Jack Copeland (2004) , p22.
  • Clark, Liat (18 June 2012). "Turing's achievements: codebreaking, AI and the birth of computer science (Wired UK)".
  • Alan Turing vs Alick Glennie (1952) "Turing Test"

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No known carriers of Alan's ancestors' Y-chromosome or mitochondrial DNA have taken yDNA or mtDNA tests and no close relatives have taken a 23andMe, AncestryDNA, or Family Tree DNA "Family Finder" test.

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Images: 2
Alan Turing
Alan Turing

Replica of a Bombe machine used to help decrypt Enigma messages
Replica of a Bombe machine used to help decrypt Enigma messages


Alan is 33 degrees from Rosa Parks, 24 degrees from Anne Tichborne and 15 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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