Towsey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Towsey family

The surname Towsey was first found in Devon, where the name was a trade or occupational name for "a comber or carder of wool." [1] [2]

Early Sussex records show John le Tosere as holding lands in 1249. A few years later, William le Thosers was listed in the Assize Rolls for Somerset in 1280 and later, John Tosere was recorded in Devon in 1333. William le Tesere was found in the Assize Rolls for Somerset in 1275. "The Tozers have been established in Ashburton, [Devon] for more than two centuries. Moses Tozer was an Ashburton tradesman 200 years ago: a family of the name lived there last century, and the name is still to be found there. Henry Tozar, native of North Tawton, was an eminent 17th century divine." [3]

Up in Yorkshire, Johannes Tesur was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 and John Toser was listed in the Norfolk Valor Ecclesiasticus, but no date was given. [4]

Early History of the Towsey family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Towsey research. Another 111 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1510, 1600, 1141, 1445, 1385, 1559, 1605, 1748, 1602, 1650, 1788, 1854, 1788, 1801, 1805, 1807, 1808, 1809, 1810 and 1812 are included under the topic Early Towsey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Towsey Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Tose, Towse, Toase, Tows, Towze, Towz, Toaze, Touse and many more.

Early Notables of the Towsey family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Henry Tozer (1602-1650), an English Puritan clergyman and academic from North Tawton, Devon. He was elected to the Westminster Assembly but never sat there. Aaron Tozer (1788-1854), English captain in the navy, born in 1788, entered the navy in June 1801 on board the Phœbe, with Captain Thomas Baker, on the Irish station. He afterwards served in the East Indies and on the home station, and, again with Baker, in the Phœnix, in which on 10 Aug. 1805 he was present at the capture of the French frigate Didon (James, Naval History, iv. 66-74; Troude, Batailles...
Another 128 words (9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Towsey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Towsey migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Towsey Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Thomas Towsey, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1679 [5]
  • Tom Towsey, who arrived in New England in 1679 [5]

New Zealand Towsey 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:

Towsey Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Isabella Towsey, (b. 1859), aged 19, Welsh general servant from Glamorgan departing on 10th August 1878 aboard the ship "Hydaspes" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 9th November 1878


  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges, A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8)
  3. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  4. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  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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