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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the Scottish Towe family come from? What is the Scottish Towe family crest and coat of arms? When did the Towe family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Towe family history?

The surname Towe is a topographic surname, which was given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a hill, stream, church, or type of tree. Habitation names form the other broad category of surnames that were derived from place-names. They were derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. Other local names are derived from the names of houses, manors, estates, regions, and entire counties. As a general rule, the greater the distance between an individual and their homeland, the larger the territory they were named after. For example, a person who only moved to another parish would be known by the name of their original village, while people who migrated to a different country were often known by the name of a region or country from which they came. The name Towe is derived from the Old French word touche, meaning thicket, and indicates that the original bearer lived near a thicket.

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Spelling variations of this family name include: Touch, Toulch, Tough, Tuff, Tuf, Toucht and others.

First found in Cheshire, where the family is conjecturally descended from Joslin de Touche, who was granted lands by King William, the Duke of Normandy, after the Conquest. The Touches were Lords of Audley, the Earls of Castlehaven. By the 14th century, many of these Norman nobles moved north to Scotland and were granted land by King David of Scotland.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Towe research. Another 350 words(25 lines of text) covering the years 1361, 1549, and 1561 are included under the topic Early Towe History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Towe Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Towe Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • R Towe, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851

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  • Monte Corwin Towe (b. 1953), American basketball coach and retired player
  • Harry Lancaster Towe (1898-1977), American Republican Party politician
  • Jaarnek Towe (b. 1965), Swedish singer
  • Peter Milburn Towe (b. 1922), retired Canadian diplomat and businessman


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  1. Scots Kith and Kin And Illustrated Map Revised 2nd Edition. Edinburgh: Clan House/Albyn. Print.
  2. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and David Hicks. The Highland Clans The Dynastic Origins, Cheifs and Background of the Clans. New York: C.N. Potter, 1968. Print.
  3. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  4. Fairbairn,. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  5. Urquhart, Blair Edition. Tartans The New Compact Study Guide and Identifier. Secauccus, NJ: Chartwell Books, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0-7858-0050-6).
  6. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  7. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  8. Prebble, John. The Highland Clearances. London: Secker & Warburg, 1963. Print.
  9. Scarlett, James D. Tartan The Highland Textile. London: Shepheard-Walwyn, 1990. Print. (ISBN 0-85683-120-4).
  10. Warner, Philip Warner. Famous Scottish Battles. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1996. Print. (ISBN 0-76070-004-4).
  11. ...

The Towe Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Towe Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 7 December 2013 at 20:29.

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