Townend History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the name Townend date back to the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the Townend family lived on the outskirts of a village. The surname Townend 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 Townend family

The surname Townend 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. " [1]

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." [2]

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. [3]

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 Townend family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Townend 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 Townend History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Townend Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Townend are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Townend include: Townsend, Townshend and others.

Early Notables of the Townend 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, 1st Baronet (c.1596-1637), an English landowner and politician; Horatio Townshend (1630-1687), who was Created Viscount...
Another 66 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Townend Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Townend family to Ireland

Some of the Townend 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.


United States Townend migration to the United States +

Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Townend or a variant listed above:

Townend Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Townend, who landed in Virginia in 1635 [4]

Australia Townend migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Townend Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Townend, English convict who was convicted in Yorkshire, England for life, transported aboard the "Fame" on 9th October 1816, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [5]
  • Mr. Michael Townend who was convicted in Leeds, Yorkshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Dick" on 2nd October 1820, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [6]
  • Mr. John Townend, English convict who was convicted in Pontefract, Yorkshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Exmouth" on 3rd March 1831, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [7]
  • Mr. William Townend, English convict who was convicted in Leeds, Yorkshire, England for 10 years, transported aboard the "Duncan" on 10th December 1840, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [8]
  • Paul Townend (aged 21), a blacksmith, who arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Aurora"

New Zealand Townend migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Townend Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mrs. Emma Townend, (b. 1835), aged 28, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "David G. Fleming" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 9th December 1863 [9]
  • Miss Maria Townend, (b. 1861), aged 2, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "David G. Fleming" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 9th December 1863 [9]

Contemporary Notables of the name Townend (post 1700) +

  • Tosh Townend (b. 1985), American professional skateboarder
  • John "Jack" Townend, English professional rugby league footballer of the 1890s and 1900s
  • Carol Townend (b. 1953), English writer of historical romances for Harlequin Mills & Boon
  • John Ernest Townend (b. 1934), English politician, Member of Parliament for East Yorkshire (1979-2001)
  • Stuart Townend (b. 1963), English Christian worship leader and writer of hymns
  • Miss Sarah Elizabeth Townend M.V.O., British Deputy Secretary for Master of the Household's Department, was appointed the Member of the Royal Victorian Order on 8th June 2018 [10]
  • Mrs. Helen Mary Townend M.B.E., British Chair for Army Widows Association, was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire on 29th December 2018 for services to Service Widows and Widowers [10]
  • Lt-Col Henry "Stuart" Townend OBE (1909-2002), British headmaster and gold medalist in the 1930 Summer Olympics
  • Peter Townend (b. 1953), Australian surfer, coach and commentator for ESPN
  • Peter Townend (1935-1999), British writer, photographer and journalist
  • ... (Another 1 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  1. ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
  2. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 27th September 2022). https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/fairlie
  6. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 8th July 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/Dick
  7. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 25th May 2022). https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/exmouth
  8. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 11th August 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/duncan
  9. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  10. ^ "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62507, 28 December 2018 | London Gazette, The Gazette, Dec. 2018, www.thegazette.co.uk/honours-lists


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