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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

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 United States in the 19th Century


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

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


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  1. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  2. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  3. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  4. 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).
  5. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  6. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  7. Skene, William Forbes Edition. Chronicles of the Picts, Chronicles of the Scots and Other Early Memorials of Scottish History. Edinburgh: H.M. General Register House, 1867. Print.
  8. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  9. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Scotch Irish Pioneers In Ulster and America. Montana: Kessinger Publishing. Print.
  10. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Socts Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Modern Application of the Art of Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
  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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