Townsend Society of America
123 South Street
Suite 103
Oyster Bay, NY 11771
(516) 558-7092

Townsend Family Groups

Over the years, a number of distinct Townsend Family groups has been identified through traditional research or Y-DNA testing, or both.  Some of these groups have been identified only within the United States and do not have documentation or DNA results that link them back to England. Others have documentation or DNA evidence that connects them not only to England but to Canada and Australia.
A few groups form a clearly DNA defined sub-group but there is no traditional documentation on the relationship.
The genetic yDNA Haplogroups into which the various Townsend families fall includes the most common Western European type R1b but also reflects the migrations across Europe several thousand years ago and confirms that not all Townsends are related as some Townsends fall into other Haplogroups.  The names we assigned the various groups reflects the earliest known ancestor of the group and an early location.  When sub-groups cannot find a a single ancestor or location, multiple locations are used for the group name.
Some examples:
The origins of the three brothers who emigrated to Oyster Bay area of Long Island has not been identified.  But since they have both traditional documentation and YDNA tests to prove their relationship, we identify them as Oyster Bay.

Bucklebury, Berkshire, England is the documented ancestral home of a Townsend family whose first emigrant arrived with William Penn on the Welcome; some years later, his brother as well as a niece and nephew came to Pennsylvania. Descendants of Benedictus Townsend spread throughout the U.S. South. Genetically these two families are related but there is no documentation as to how they link.
The CastleTownshend group has subgroups or members in England, the United States, and Australia; they are only linked by DNA test results.

A number of Townsend family groups are listed on the left. There is downloadable information on many Townsend family groups within the Download Section under "Members Only".  They can also be found in the Archives catalog on this website.

In the lower part of the Y-DNA results table, at, you will find many Townsends who do not yet fit a family group. Some results for a single person have now been classified as a family group based on available documentation. We hope that others of this group might DNA test at some point.
A haplogroup is a major branch on the tree of humankind. Haplogroups are assigned to Y-DNA results and today these groups can be associated with major human migrations and to the corresponding geographical areas.