Show ContentsTrue History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestry of the name True dates from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It comes from when the family lived near some prominent tree or in one of the settlements in Devon called Tree, Trew, True, or Trow. The surname is derived from the Old English words treow, trew, or trow, which are in turn derived from the Old English word treow, which means tree.

However, the surname True is occasionally derived from residence at Trow Farm or Trow Down in Wiltshire. The derivation in this case is from the Old English word trog, which means trough. 1

The name could be from the Middle English word "trew(e)" or "trow(e) which means "faithful, loyal, trustworthy." 2 3 4

Early Origins of the True family

The surname True was first found in Wiltshire, where Rannulfus Truue (Triue) was recorded in the Pipe Rolls of 1180. Ralph Truwe was a Knight's Templar in Kent in 1185 and Roger Trowe was listed in the Curia Regis Roll for Wiltshire in 1200. Over 100 years later, William Trewe was listed in the Subsidy Rolls for Yorkshire in 1301 and later, Henry le Trewe was listed in Wiltshire in 1327.

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 had only one entry for the family, that of Henry Trewe in Bedfordshire. 2

Early History of the True family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our True research. Another 120 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1185, 1200, 1273, 1301, 1327, 1595, 1624, 1774 and 1807 are included under the topic Early True History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

True Spelling Variations

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name True have been found, including True, Truue, Trew, Trewe, Truwe, Trow, Trowe and others.

Early Notables of the True family

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

United States True migration to the United States +

Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name True, or a variant listed above:

True Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Mr. John True, aged 26, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 aboard the ship "Transport" 5
  • Henry True, who landed in Salem, Massachusetts in 1644 6
  • Walter True, who arrived in Virginia in 1652 6
  • Anne True, who landed in Virginia in 1654 6
  • William True, who landed in Maryland in 1665 6
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
True Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • C S True, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 6
  • Lyman True, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 6
  • Frederick True, who arrived in Iroquois County, Illinois in 1886 6
  • Frederick and Henry True, who settled in Iroquois County, Illinois, in 1886 and 1888 respectively

Australia True migration to Australia +

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

True Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Ambrose True, English convict who was convicted in (Holland) Lincolnshire, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Elphinstone" on 20th January 1836, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) 7

West Indies True 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. 8
True Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Mr. Anthony True, (b. 1617), aged 18, British settler traveling aboard the ship "Matthew" arriving in St Christopher (Saint Kitts) in 1635 9

Contemporary Notables of the name True (post 1700) +

  • Clarence Fagan True (1860-1928), American architect in New York City
  • Andrea True (1943-2011), born Andrea Marie Truden, American actress and singer from the disco era, best known for the 1976 disco tune, "More, More, More"
  • Steve True (b. 1954), nicknamed Steve "The Homer" True, an American sportscaster for the ESPN radio station WAUK 540 AM in Milwaukee
  • Marion True (b. 1948), American former curator of antiquities for the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, California
  • Laurel True (b. 1968), American artist, architectural artist, muralist and mosaic artist
  • Katie True, American politician, Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives (2003-2010)
  • David True (b. 1942), American painter from Marietta, Ohio
  • Arthur Leander True (1874-1952), American politician, Member of the Washington House of Representatives (1919-1927)
  • Rear Admiral Arnold Ellsworth True (1901-1979), U.S. Navy officer from Owenton, Kentucky, Commanding officer of the Sims-class destroyer USS Hammann during the Battle of Midway
  • Allen Tupper True (1881-1955), American illustrator, easel painter and muralist from Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • ... (Another 7 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Suggested Readings for the name True +

  • Genealogy of the True & Bevers by Odessa Morrow Isbell.
  • The True Family: Some Henry True Descendants on the Frontier by Charles Wesley True.

  1. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  4. Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  5. Pilgrim Ship's of 1600's Retrieved January 6th 2023, retrieved from
  6. 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)
  7. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 16th March 2022). Retrieved from
  9. Pilgrim Ship's of 1600's (Retrieved October 4th 2021 from on Facebook