Towne History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname Towne is of Anglo-Saxon origin. It is derived from the Old English "tun," which originally meant "fence" or "enclosure," but soon came to mean "enclosure round a house," "homestead," "village," or "town." The name was originally preceded by a preposition, and referred to "one who lived in or at the village or town."

Early Origins of the Towne family

The surname Towne was first found in Suffolk. The written history of the name dates back as far as 1095, when Wistric Oftun was recorded in the records of the abbey at Bury St. Edmunds. Variations on the surname, such as Abothetoune, atte Tun, and Douninthetune, could also be found in this region at an early date.

Early History of the Towne family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Towne research. Another 109 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1095, 1275, 1327, 1524, 1583, 1650, 1739, 1816, 1621, 1692, 1640 and 1692 are included under the topic Early Towne History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Towne Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Town, Tune, Toune, Towne, Townes, Towns, Tone, Toon and many more.

Early Notables of the Towne family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include John Towne (c.1583), a British actor, Robert Towne (c.1650), a religious writer, and Francis Towne (1739-1816), a well-known British watercolor painter of landscapes. Rebecca Towne Nurse (or Nourse) (1621-1692) (née Towne)...
Another 39 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Towne Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Towne Ranking

In the United States, the name Towne is the 5,076th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [1]


United States Towne migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Towne Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Towne, who landed in Salem, Massachusetts in 1635 [2]
  • Edmund Towne, aged 18, who arrived in New England in 1637 [2]
  • Edmund Towne, who settled in Virginia in 1650
  • Daniell Towne, who settled in New England in 1661
  • Daniell Towne, who landed in New England in 1661 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Towne Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Mary Towne, who landed in Virginia in 1713 [2]
  • Christiana Towne, who settled in Maryland in 1775
Towne Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Almond S Towne, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850 [2]
  • G W Towne, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [2]

Canada Towne migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Towne Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Archelaus Towne U.E. who settled in Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1784 [3]
  • Mr. Samuel Towne U.E. who settled in Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1784 [3]

West Indies Towne migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [4]
Towne Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Mr. John Towne, (b. 1607), aged 27, British settler travelling from London, UK arriving in St Christopher (St. Kitts) on 5th January 1634 [5]
  • Edward Towne, who emigrated from England to Barbados with his wife and servants in 1680

Contemporary Notables of the name Towne (post 1700) +

  • Laura Matilda Towne (1825-1901), American abolitionist and educator
  • Katharine Payne Towne (b. 1978), American actress, known for What Lies Beneath (2000), Mulholland Drive (2001) and Evolution (2001)
  • Gene Towne (1904-1979), American screenwriter who wrote for 47 films between 1921 and 1958
  • Charles Hanson Towne (1877-1949), American author, poet and editor
  • Robert Towne (b. 1934), American Academy Award, BAFTA Award and Golden Globe Award winning screenwriter and director, best known for his work on Mission: Impossible (1996), Chinatown (1974) and Days of Thunder (1990)
  • Benjamin Towne, American newspaper editor
  • Henry Robinson Towne (1844-1924), American engineer and manufacturer who introduced modern manufacturing processes to the lock industry
  • Charles Hard Towne (b. 1915), American physicist
  • Joseph Towne (1808-1879), English modeller, born at Royston, near Cambridge, third son of Thomas Towne, a dissenting minister
  • Francis Towne (1740-1816), English watercolour landscape artist, born in 1740, apparently in London
  • ... (Another 4 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Pemberton Mill
  • Miss Lizzie Towne, factory worker in the Pemberton Mill on 10th January 1860 when the mill collapsed trapping 900 workers as rescue attempts continued into the night, an oil lantern was knocked over further engulfing the trapped workers in fire, she died


  1. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  2. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  3. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  4. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  5. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)


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