The Townsend Society of America
The TOWNSEND SOCIETY OF AMERICA has resources that includes genealogical material donated to us over the years; we have a small archive.
The Society was a museum and a research center but our mission has evolved. Much in our holdings has been scanned and made available to members online. Today our goal is to clarify and build Townsend family groups through research and DNA testing, help people surmount brick walls, and expand our knowledge of Townsend ancestry regardless of family group.
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 assists and supports members with their family histories and genealogies. In 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. We are interested in ALL Townsends.
HARRY MACY, JR. a long-time member of the Townsend Society and board member emeritus died recently at 88. He is survived by his brother, sister, nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Harry was a fount of information about the Oyster Bay Townsends. I think he was a Townsend three times over, as well as an Underhill, a Wright, and almost any other Long Island name connected to the Townsends. He was also a gracious & patient "answerer" of questions that I would email him about this family. He knew more than the rest of us put together. Harry was a Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists and they refer to him as the New York expert. The below photo is from a TV interview with the National Genealogical Society about becoming a genealogist. Harry edited the NYG&BS Record for nineteen years, wrote many articles for them, and was a stickler for properly done citations. On our website, he is in the board photo taken about ten years ago and is second from the left in the blue shirt. Always willing to share his knowledge, Harry will be missed. LTF.