The ancestors of the name Towensond date back to the days of the Anglo-Saxon
tribes of Britain. The name is derived from their residence on the outskirts of a village. The surname Towensond literally refers to a dweller "at the town's end." The name belongs to the class of topographic
surnames, which were given to people who resided near physical features such as hills, streams, churches, or types of trees.
Early Origins of the Towensond family
The surname Towensond was first found in Norfolk
, at Snoring Magna (Great Snoring) where one of the first records of the name was found there in 1377. "In 1398, John Townshend settled at Rainham, which according to some accounts accrued to them by the heiress of Havile. " CITATION[CLOSE]
Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
Another source confirms this noble family's status. "In 1398, the ancestor of the Marquis Townshend was at Rainham, the present seat of the family." CITATION[CLOSE]
Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
Actually the first record of the name was listed before the two aforementioned worthy sources. The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 lists: Geoffrey de le Tuneshende in Norfolk; Henry atte Tunesende in Oxfordshire; and Alice atte Tunishende in Buckinghamshire. Years later, the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed: Ricardus atte ye Thounhende; and Johannes atte Tonehende. CITATION[CLOSE]
Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
Raynham Hall is a country house in Norfolk, England. Completed shortly after the death of Sir Roger Townsend's death in 1637, it has been the seat of the Townshend family for nearly 400 years. The Hall is reported to be haunted, and was the scene of the famous ghost photo of the Brown Lady descending the staircase.
Early History of the Towensond family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Towensond research.Another 316 words (23 lines of text) covering the years 1350, 1390, 1430, 1493, 1486, 1568, 1603, 1603, 1596, 1637, 1630, 1687, 1682, 1608, 1668, 1630, 1618, 1692, 1674, 1738, 1619 and are included under the topic Early Towensond History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Towensond Spelling Variations
Towensond has been spelled many different ways. Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred
years, spelling variations
in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Many variations of the name Towensond have been found, including Townsend, Townshend and others.
Early Notables of the Towensond family (pre 1700)
Notables of the family at this time include Sir Roger Townshend (ca. 1430-1493), who was knighted by Henry VII in 1486; Sir John Townshend (c.1568-1603), of Raynham Hall in Norfolk, an English soldier and Member of Parliament, killed in a duel with Sir Matthew Browne in August 1603; Sir Roger Townshend... Another 81 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Towensond Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Towensond family to Ireland
Some of the Towensond family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 131 words (9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Towensond family to the New World and Oceana
In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England
, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Towensonds to arrive on North American shores: James Townsend, who settled, with his wife and five children, in St. John Island in 1775; Francis Townsend settled in Virginia in 1635; William Townsend settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1630.