The present generation of the Towndrow family is only the most recent to bear a name that dates back to the ancient Anglo-Saxon
culture of Britain. Their name comes from having lived on the outskirts of a village. The surname Towndrow 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 Towndrow family
The surname Towndrow 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 Towndrow family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Towndrow research.Another 83 words (6 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 Towndrow History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Towndrow Spelling Variations
Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred
years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations
in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon
and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Towndrow include Townsend, Townshend and others.
Early Notables of the Towndrow 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 Towndrow Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Towndrow family to Ireland
Some of the Towndrow family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 60 words (4 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 Towndrow family to the New World and Oceana
Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England
at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Towndrow were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records:
Towndrow Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
- Edwin John Towndrow, aged 51, who arrived in America from Redhill, England, in 1911
- Gladys Amy Towndrow, aged 26, who arrived in America, in 1923
- John Henry Towndrow, aged 72, who settled in Raton, New Mexico, in 1924
Contemporary Notables of the name Towndrow (post 1700)
- Frank Noel Towndrow QHC (1911-2007), English Church of England priest, Archdeacon of Oakham from 1967 to 1977
- Paul Towndrow (b. 1978), Scottish saxophonist, composer, arranger and educator; awarded the Audience Prize at The 2003 World Saxophone Competition
- Lee Towndrow, Canadian commercial and portrait photographer and visual artist, known for his work on Cube²: Hypercube (2002), Carol (2015) and The Take (2004)