Townsend Society of America
Established in 1962
Oyster Bay, NY 11771
(516) 558-7092

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.
With summer approaching, a reminder that Raynham Hall [house and museum] is an interesting visit in Oyster Bay.  Admission ranges from $15/$10 to free [with military ID] and the hours are Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, 1-4 pm.  Do see their website for up-to-date information and guided tours which sound very interesting and have different days and hours, etc.  It is a lovely old house and home to the family of Robert Townsend, the Culper Spy.
Another historic site, run by the National Park Service, is Teddy Roosevelt's summer White House just outside Oyster Bay village at Sagamore Hill.  Currently, house tours are reservation only, Thursday - Sunday.  The photo below is from their website.
A room with books, portraits, and hunting trophies