This Townsend family first appears in 1767 when Moses Townsend, Sr., appears in a deed in Mecklenburg County where he is one of the neighbors living on Sugaw or Sugar Creek. Other Townsends include Charles, George, William, Dudley and Henry. These men lived in the part of Mecklenburg that became Cabarrus County in 1792. They were neighbors in both the 1790 and 1800 censuses. Charles and Moses, Sr. could easily have been born as early as the 1730's. George, William, Dudley and Henry circa 1754 - 1765 based on the evidence available. William testified in his pension application that he was born in 1760 while George said 1754 on his. As a witness to an application, Henry give 1765.
Some of the family moved up to Watauga County during the early decades of the 1800s while others were in Kentucky by 1800 or shortly thereafter. Some eventually migrated up to Indiana. These men had multiple interactions, including marriages, with neighbors who show up in land records and the census, and who also moved to Kentucky.
Watauga County includes James, Andrew, Peter, William and Henry born circa 1784 - 1810; not forgetting Lewis and Aaron Townsend [both born early 1770s], plus Charles and James still in Cabarrus County.
The origins of this senior generation are unknown as of 2021 and the identity of fathers/sons is mostly uncertain. William Townsend has the most complete family group. See the recent article which discusses what is currently known about this group in the Townsend Society Journal, Summer 2021.
The group has a YDNA profile with ten men who have tested. These include descendants of Moses Townsend, Jr. [c1770s - after 1830], William Townsend [b 1760] and Enoch Townsend [c1779 - 1851]. It was once thought that George Townsend had descendants but his Revolutionary War pension application, and the subsequent filing for two wives, indicates he had none. Moses, Jr. and Enoch Townsend are listed next to George on the early Lee County, VA tax lists [c1798 - 1810] but they may have been nephews [?brothers to each other] rather than sons as long thought.
Their haplogroup is E-M35 with one man testing further to E-L117. It originated in North Africa and the Middle East, moved into the Balkans and Mediterranean countries and eventually to Italy, Spain and France. There are several avenues of migration into England including the ancient tribes, the Romans who ruled England for almost 400 years, and the Normans which resulted in the English rule of swathes of France for several centuries. From the 1400s to the 1600s French silk weavers and Huguenots came to England.