The TOWNSEND SOCIETY OF AMERICA collects, preserves, catalogues, and makes available resource materials of genealogical and historical significance to and for Townsends around the world.
"Putting people together" is one of the most productive roles the Society plays. Building Townsend family groups through research and DNA testing, surmounting brick walls, and expanding knowledge of one's ancestors is our specialty.
The first Townsends arrived on the shores of the North American continent before 1640. Townsends have participated in many major events which formed the United States. The Townsend surname is found throughout England even before 1538 when Henry VIII ordered the keeping of parish registers to record baptisms, marriages and burials. Medieval court documents show various spellings including Townensend, Tounson, Townend and Townsend. A geographical surname, Townsend described someone who lived at the end of the town. In 1192 Suffolk, one Wulfric "at te tunesende" was recorded in the Pipe Rolls or government documents. By 1327 when surnames became common, William atte Townsende owed taxes in Worcestershire. His descendants would drop the "atte."