Thursday, January 24, 2013

TOWNSENDS OF OYSTER BAY (from England to Michigan)


[for full text of Townsend family records dating back to 11th Century, click here . ]

(Note how a combination of online genealogical sources can carry a family line back in time -in this case to the 12th Century.)

Sir Ludoric (Lodovicus) of Townshend (fl 1100) married Elizabeth de Hauteville of Roynhom, Norfolk, daughter and heir of Thomas de Hauteville, who received his lands from William the Conqueror.
Walter Atte Townshende, sometimes referred to as Walter Ad Finem Ville, Ad Exitum Ville, or Atte Towneshende, all traditionally meaning "at town's end," but in Norman dialect could be "town holder." The silent "h" and the final "e" were dropped about 1500 as superfluous, returning to the noble branch of the family soon after 1580. see The Townshend Family of Lynn in Old and New England by Charles Henry Townshend, 1882
Thomas Atte Tunneshende (1247-1272)
John Tunneshende (1265-1304) married Alice
William Tunneshende (c1285)
Peter Atte Townshende (c1305-after1371)
Roger de Townshende (1325-1400) married about 1349 Catherine Atherton of Sussex, daughter of John de Atherton of Sussex (c1295)
Sir Thomas de Townshende, Lord of Raynham (c1355-1 Apr 1421) married about 1379 Agnes Payne, daughter of William Payne. Lived at Raynham, Norfolk
Sir Roger Townshend (c1360-Feb 1466) married Eleanor Giggs of Rollesby, Norfolk, daughter of Thomas Giggs. Lived at Raynham, Norfolk.
Sir John Townshend (c1400-16 Feb 1465/6) married Agnes; or Joan, daughter of Sir Robert Lunsford

Sir Roger Townshend (c1430-9 Nov 1493) married Eleanor Lundsford (c1430-8 Oct 1500) daughter of William Lunsford and Thomasine Barrington of Sussex. Sir Roger was a lawyer, justice, and Member of Parliament, lived at Raynham, Norfolk. 

Sir Roger Townsend (1477-25 Nov 1552) married Anne de Brewse(1474-25 Jul 1551) daughter of Sir William de Brewse of Stinton Hall and Elizabeth Hopton. Sir Roger was a lawyer, justice, sheriff, Member of Parliament, and Commissioner for several causes. He greatly expanded his estates, centered at Raynham.
Raynham Hall is said to be one of the most splendid of the great houses of Norfolk. It was begun in 1619 by [a later] Sir Roger Townshend and was unique at that time in England. Perhaps influenced by a 3-year 'grand tour' of Europe, Townshend built it in a new style following the Italian form and plan.
[FYI for any of you 'ghost hunters' -Raynham is supposedly haunted!]
Sir Robert Townsend (1512-8 Feb 1555/6) m.1 Oct 1534 Alice Poppy (1510) daughter of Sir Robert Poppy of Twyford, Norfolk. Justice of the Peace, Sergeant-at-Law, Lord Chief Justice of Chester. Lived in Ludlow, Shropshire. Knighted in 1545  
Notes for Robert Townshend:
Sir Robert Townshend, like his father and grandfather before him, was trained in the law. He was admitted to The Honourable Society of Lincoln's Inn, one of four barrister Inns of Court in London.  During the early part of the reign of Henry VIII, Sir Robert became eminent in the study of law, being retained by Queen Jane Seymour. He was sufficiently distinguished to be appointed Serjeant-at -law in 1540 and King's Serjeant in 1541. In May 1541 he was elevated to the Bench as Lord Chief Justice of Chester.
He was later Knighted by Henry VIII at Hampton Court on Trinity Sunday in 1545 and was a member of the Council in the Principality and Marches of Wales.
Sir Robert Townsend married Alice Poppy, the daughter of Robert Poppy of Twyford in Norfolk on
 1 October 1516. By right of his wife's family, Sir Robert possessed the advowson of Twyford, and in that capacity appointed Robert Jary vicar of Twyford in 1541, and Robert Watson to the same position in 1554.
Sir Robert died on 8 February 1556/7, possessed of the manors and rectories of Twyford and Guyst, the manors of Swanton, Foxley and Southwell in Norfolk and the priory house of St. Augustine in Ludlow, Shropshire.
He was buried in the high chancel of Ludlow Parish Church in an altar tomb. On the top of the tomb, which still exists in excellent condition, are the full length recumbent figures of the old knight in full armour, and his lady dressed in the costume of the day, while figures of the children surround the tomb.  
Tomb of Sir Robert Townshend, Ludlow Parish Church

(the order of children not specified in source)
. 1. Thomas Townsend (d.1591) m.1558 Elizabeth Periente; see below
. 2. Robert Townsend (buried 28 Aug 1614) m.30 Apr 1571 Anne Machell (Marshall); of Ludlow, Shropshire; sons: Sir John (1572-1630), Robert, Nicholas, Sydney, Thomas, Henry, Edward.
. 3. Isaac Townsend (1535-3 Jun 1621)
. 4. Sir Henry Townsend (1537-9 Dec 1621) m(1) Susan Hayward; daughter of Sir Rowland; m(2)   Dorothy Heveningham; of Cande, Shropshire. sons: Hayward (1577-1604), John (1592), Henry
. 5. Thomasin Townsend (1538) m(1) William Curson; m(2) William Rugge Repps
. 6. Anne (Amice) Townsend married Raffe (Ralph) Dutton
. 7. daughter Townsend married Richard Smythe
. 8. Bridget Townsend married Henry Acton
. 9. Grace Townsend married Ambrose Gilbert
10. Alice Townsend (d.1617) m(1) Humphrey Archer; m(2) Edward

Thomas Townsend (1533 - 1591)
Thomas Townsend (d.15 Jun 1591) m.25 Jun 1558 Elizabeth Periente (1536-20 Jun 1580), daughter of George Periente. Thomas married(2) 1581/2 Anne d'Oyly, daughter of Henry d'Oyly (d.1591) several of their children died young, only Alice and Mary surviving. 
Mergate Hall
Notes for Thomas Townshend:
Sir Robert Townshend's eldest son Thomas inherited most of his father's properties and resided at Mergate Hall at Bracon Ash in Norfolk. He was a man of great wealth and possessions and kept considerable state at Mergate Hall;
Queen Elizabeth I dined with Thomas and his wife there in July 1578.
Thomas' wife was Elizabeth, the widow of Sir Humphrey Style, and although he conformed to the reformed religion she refused to do so and remained a Catholic. This refusal to conform prompted the Bishop of Norwich to write to Thomas in 1571, ending his letter with the following admonishment:
"...My duty and place of calling, together with my conscience Godward, cannot suffer me to know such disorder, and to suffer the same any longer, and, therefore, I desire you both from henceforth to frequent the Church and receive the sacrament, as becometh Christians, as I may be certified forthwith, both of the one and of the other, which I look for; otherwise, this is most assured, I will not fail to complain of you both to Her Majesty's Council, wherewith neither of you shall have just cause to be offended, since you are so friendly admonished of your faults and have so long a time to amend. And thus I bid you heartily farewell.
John, Bishop of Norwich."
Thomas Townsend had several children and died in June 1591. One of his daughters married Ambrose Clive, and was the
ancestor in the sixth generation of Robert, Lord Clive of India, who established the British Empire in India.

His only surviving son, Henry, lived at Gedding in Suffolk and died in 1625. Henry Townsend's son, Thomas, settled at Lynn, in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in North America in 1636 and died there in 1677. His descendants are prolific and are now scattered all over the United States.
From "Ancestors of Zoe Townsend & Walker Dix"

Henry Townsend (1568 - 1625)
Son of Thomas
Henry Townsend (31 May 1568-22 Aug 1625) m.5 Nov 1590 Margaret Forthe (1570-23 Jun 1596) daughter of Robert Forthe (d.23 Jul 1596) and Martha Box; married at St John Zacharias in London. lived in Bracon-Ash, Norfolk, until 1599, when he sold it and moved to Gedding, Suffolk. He m(2) Anne Calthorpe, daughter of Bertram Calthorpe.
Thomas Townsend (1594 - 1677)
Son of Henry
Thomas Townsend (8 Jan 1594/5-22 Dec 1677) m.1613 Mary Newgate (1598-28 Feb 1691/2) daughter of Phillip Newgate and Joan Hoo; and a cousin of Governor Winthrop. After his father sold Bracon-Ash in 1599, Thomas lived with his father in Gedding, Suffolk, until reaching his majority in 1615, when he went to London to live with his uncle Thomas Forthe, son of Robert Forthe (d.1595). Thomas emigrated from London to Lynn, Massachusetts, in 1637, aboard the Handmaid along with his sons Henry, John, and Richard.

Thomas was granted 60 acres of land with Lord Brook and others by the town of Lynn, in 1638, and he owned other lands near the iron works and at Rumney Marsh, Chelsea. His town-house and lot of 7 acres was on the south side the mill street near the common, and next the Mansfield property, and it was sold by his grandson Thomas, son of Andrew, to Daniel Mansfield, of Lynn, July 25, 1702.  He was made a freeman March 14, 1639, calling himself husbandman in his well-drawn deeds of gift to his children. He died in Lynn, Dec. 22, 1677, aged 83, and his wife Mary died of camp-fever, probably at the house of her son Andrew, Feb. 28, 1692.
They reportedly had the following children [note that Henry and his brothers, John and Richard, were from Thomas's first marriage. -The children below were their half-siblings]:
2. i. Thomas, born about 1637.
3. ii. Samuel, b. in Lynn about 1638.
4. iii. John, b. in Lynn about 1640.
5. iv. Andrew, b. in Lynn about 1642.
v. Elizabeth, b. in Lynn about 1644; m. Samuel Mansfield, of Lynn, Dec. 22, 1669.
NOTE:  The following statement is attached to show that some researchers disagree: "Three brothers traditionally from Norwich, Norfolk, [HENRY, JOHN, & RICHARD] came to New Amsterdam before 1643. They were not believed to be sons of Thomas Townsend of Lynn, but related - probably descendants of Sir Robert Townsend and Alice Poppy above. Henry reportedly came first, then returned to England and persuaded his brothers to join him" [Until proof to the contrary is found, I will maintain that there is direct lineage through Thomas as their father] .
Henry Townsend (1626 - 1695)
Son of Thomas  [Henry and his brother John are featured in the story posted on 4/913: "By Twig & Turf ~family roots in Oyster Bay"]
Henry Townsend (1649 - 1703)
Son of Henry
Henry Townsend (1649-1703) was the son of Henry Townsend who emigrated to the colonies from England. Eventually Henry Townsend settled in Oyster Bay, where his son Henry Townsend was raised.  Townsend Society of America DNA testing project has established that the Oyster Bay family is not related to Thomas Townsend of Lynn, MA. The county of origin in England for Henry, John and Richard Townsend is not known. Henry Townsend married Deborah Underhill in 1657. Deborah Underhill (1659-1698) was daughter of Captain John Underhill* (1597-1672), another important figure in Colonial America who trained the militia of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and served as magistrate of Flushing for a brief period of time, before settling on 150 acres of land outside of Oyster Bay. 
*Captain Underhill was converted to Quakerism by his second wife, Elizabeth Feake, thus making the union of Henry Townsend and Deborah Underhill the combining of two of the most influential Quaker families in Oyster Bay.
Deborah and Henry had at least four children together: Robert (b. 1687), Elizabeth (1692-1756), Henry (d. 1709) and Uriah Townsend (1698-1767).

Uriah Townsend (1698 - 1767)
Son of Henry
Robert Townsend (1728 - 1803)
Son of Uriah

Uriah Townsend (1753 - 1804)
Son of Robert

Ezra Edwin Townsend (1788 - 185-)
Son of Uriah

Ezra Edwin Townsend was born on August 30, 1788 in the village of Catskill, in Greene County,  New York. He died on March 13, 1851 in Washtenaw County, Michigan.
Wife, Janet/Jennet Trumbull  (1791-1835) and Ezra were parents of:
Rebecca Townsend (1808 - 1878)  who married George Walter Watson, parents of:
Rebecca Townsend Watson
Marietta Watson (1830 - 1890)
who married John M. Amrhine, parents of:

Emma Jane Amrhine, Emerine (1860 - 1933)
wife of William R. Smith, parents of my grandfather:

Leon Vern Smith (1897 - 1947)


  1. This is interesting, I am also a descendant of Thomas Townsend who settled in Lynn, Massachusetts. My family heritage is through the townsends who resettled from Lynn into Maine, and from Maine to Minnesota.

  2. I am a descendant of Thomas Townsend (24 generation). My Townsend line settled with Daniel Boone at Fort Boonesborough. I currently live 2 mile from the old Fort site.

  3. Hi
    Can you tell me if the photo on this page is a descendant of the Townsend family please?

    Also do you know of any Townsend family that came form WIltshire England
    Many thanks