Townsend Society of America
123 South Street
Suite 207
Oyster Bay, NY 11771
(516) 558-7092

The Townsend Society of America

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 was found throughout England and medieval court documents show various spellings including Towensend, Tounson, Townend and Townsend. A geographical surname, Townsend described someone who lived at the end of the town.  In 1192 one Wulfric "at te tunesende" was recorded in the county of Suffolk.  By 1327 when surnames became common, William atte Towensende in the county of Worcestershire owed taxes.  His descendants would drop the "atte."  Most modern Townsends use this spelling of the surname although in the north of England, Townend can still be found, and in the American South, variations that include Townsell and Townsin appeared.

The Townsend Society of America collects and preserves artifacts and written materials illustrative of the Townsend families and their many contributions to the nation's history. It assists and supports members with their family histories and genealogies. By way of our "members only" pages we provide the contents of those contributions, collections and archives to our membership. Membership is open to all who share an interest in the goals of the society.