Trowbridge Surname History

The name Trowbridge was brought to England by the Normans when they conquered the country in 1066. The ancestors of the Trowbridge family lived in Devon, at Trowbridge. Further research showed the name was derived from the Old English word for a wooden bridge.

Early Origins of the Trowbridge family

The surname Trowbridge was first found in Devon where conjecturally they are believed to be descended from two Norman knights Richard and Reginald who held the lands of Modbury from the Count of Mortaine as shown in the Domesday Book which was surveyed in 1086 A.D. The land was shown to have 30 goats. [1]

Trowbridge is also a market-town and parish, in the union and hundred of Melksham, Westbury and N. divisions, and Trowbridge and Bradford subdivisions, of Wiltshire. "It was anciently a royal manor, forming part of the duchy of Lancaster, having been granted by the crown to John of Gaunt. The estate afterwards reverted to the crown, and was given by Henry VIII., in the 28th year of his reign, to Sir Edward Seymour, Knt., Viscount Beauchamp." [2] So, while one would presume that this market-town was the place of origin of the surname, it was indeed not.

Early History of the Trowbridge family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Trowbridge research. Another 42 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Trowbridge History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Trowbridge Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries. For that reason, spelling variations are common among many Anglo-Norman names. The shape of the English language was frequently changed with the introduction of elements of Norman French, Latin, and other European languages; even the spelling of literate people's names were subsequently modified. Trowbridge has been recorded under many different variations, including Trowbridge, Troubridge, Trobridge and others.

Early Notables of the Trowbridge family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Trowbridge Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Trowbridge migration to the United States +

To escape the uncertainty of the political and religious uncertainty found in England, many English families boarded ships at great expense to sail for the colonies held by Britain. The passages were expensive, though, and the boats were unsafe, overcrowded, and ridden with disease. Those who were hardy and lucky enough to make the passage intact were rewarded with land, opportunity, and social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families went on to be important contributors to the young nations of Canada and the United States where they settled. Trowbridges were some of the first of the immigrants to arrive in North America:

Trowbridge Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Thomas Trowbridge, who landed in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1634 [3]
  • Thomas Trowbridge, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1636
  • James Trowbridge, who was on record in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1658
  • James Trowbridge, who landed in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1658 [3]
Trowbridge Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Stephen Trowbridge, who settled in Norfolk Virginia in 1822
  • James and George Trowbridge, who settled in Barnstable Massachusetts in 1822
  • S. Trowbridge, who settled in New York in 1823
  • J H Trowbridge, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850 [3]
  • John H Trowbridge, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Trowbridge migration to Australia +

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

Trowbridge Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Henry Trowbridge, English convict from Southampton, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on April 1st, 1822, settling in New South Wales, Australia [4]
  • Mr. Richard Trowbridge, English convict who was convicted in Wiltshire, England for life, transported aboard the "Augusta Jessie" on 27 September 1834, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [5]
  • William Trowbridge, English convict from Dorset, who was transported aboard the "Adelaide" on August 08, 1849, settling in Van Diemen's Land and Port Phillip, Australia [6]
  • William Holcott Trowbridge (aged 20), a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Gomelza"

Contemporary Notables of the name Trowbridge (post 1700) +

  • Charles Trowbridge (1882-1967), Mexico-born, American film actor who appeared in 233 films between 1915 and 1958
  • William Petit Trowbridge (1828-1892), American mechanical engineer, military officer, and naturalist, founder of Trowbridge & Livingston, an architectural practice based in New York City in 1862
  • Alexander Buel Trowbridge Jr., American professor of Russian History at the American University, Washington, D.C
  • Alexander Buel Trowbridge Sr., American Dean of the Cornell University College of the Architecture (1897-1902)
  • Rowland Ebenezer Trowbridge (1821-1881), American politician, member of the U.S. Congress from Michigan, Chairman of the Committee on Agriculture during the 40th United States Congress
  • Alexander Buel Trowbridge III (1929-2006), American civil servant, 17th US Secretary of Commerce (1967-1968)
  • John Townsend Trowbridge (1827-1916), American novelist and poet
  • Charles Christopher Trowbridge (1800-1883), American explorer, politician, businessman, and ethnographer of Native American cultures
  • Eugene A. Trowbridge, American fighter pilot and flying ace in the U.S. Army Air Forces, during World War II, credited with 12 aerial victories
  • Sir Richard Trowbridge, English Royal Navy Rear Admiral, Governor of Western Australia (1980-1983)

HMS Hood
  • Mr. William C Trowbridge (b. 1919), Scottish Petty Officer serving for the Royal Navy from Uphall, West Lothian, Scotland, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [7]

Suggested Readings for the name Trowbridge +

  • 4342 "Rhoades, Trowbridge, And Related Families" by Myrtle Savage Rhoades.

  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ 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)
  4. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1822 with 190 passengers. Retrieved from
  5. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 14th August 2020). Retrieved from
  6. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 17) Adelaide voyage to Van Diemen's Land and Port Phillip, Australia in 1849 with 303 passengers. Retrieved from
  7. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from on Facebook
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