The present generation of the Townlee 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 in the settlement of Towneley in the county of Lancashire
, or by any clearing in which a farm was situated. The surname Townlee thus belongs to both the category of habitation
names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads, and 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 Townlee family
The surname Townlee was first found in Lancashire
where they were descended from Spartlingus, the first Dean of Whalley about 896 A.D. Descended was Liwlphus, Cudwlphus, Henricus the great Baron
of Whalley. He was followed by Robertus, Geoffrey who married the daughter of Roger de Lacy, Constable of Cheshire
in 1193. "An estate in Lancashire
, which belonged to this ancient and distinguished family, whose pedigree is said to be traced to the time of King Alfred, and to Spartlingus, first Dean of Whalley, who flourished about the year 896. The line of this personage terminated with an heiress, Cecilia of Towneley, in the XIV. century, who married John del Legh, and conveyed the estate to his family. He died in or about 1330, and his great-grandson resumed the ancient surname of Towneley. John del Legh was a cadet of the great Cheshire
family of that name. Towneley Hall is still the seat of this race, who may well challenge comparison in point of venerable antiquity with any family in England." CITATION[CLOSE]
Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
Early History of the Townlee family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Townlee research.Another 239 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1375, 1376, 1377, 1531, 1737, 1760, 1600, 1644, 1629, 1707, 1711, 1683, 1686 and 1692 are included under the topic Early Townlee History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Townlee 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 Townlee include Townley, Towneley and others.
Early Notables of the Townlee family (pre 1700)
Notables of the family at this time include Charles Towneley (1600-1644); and his son, Richard Towneley (1629-1707), an English mathematician and astronomer from Towneley near Burnley, Lancashire
who first postulated a theory that Robert Boyle... Another 34 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Townlee Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Townlee family to Ireland
Some of the Townlee family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 57 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 Townlee 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 Townlee were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records: Henry and Margaret Townley settled in Maryland in 1721; Mary Townley settled in New England
in 1756; Patrick and William Townley arrived in Philadelphia in 1834..
The Townlee Motto
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Tenez le vraye
Motto Translation: Keep or speak the truth.