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

Bucklebury & Benedictus Townsends

This Townsend family group consists of two subgroups identified as a result of Y chromosome DNA testing.
  • Richard Townsend arrived on the Welcome with William Penn in 1682. His brother John, nephew Joseph and niece Joan immigrated to Pennsylvania about 1712. This family subgroup is well documented back to Bucklebury, Berkshire, England.
  • Benedictus Townsend first appears in Sussex County, Delaware then moved to North Carolina and eventually to South Carolina during the 1700s. This subgroup includes the Light Townsend and Thomas of Pittsylvania, VA lines.
These two subgroups match genetically with two clear marker differences at DSY #19 & DSY # CDY. The first is a slow mutator while the second mutates more frequently. They are assumed' to be connected back in England with no way of knowing which pattern might represent an earlier common ancestor for the two subgroups.

As of this date there are 8 test results for the Bucklebury descendants and 17 for Benedictus.

Additional Information and Comments


To learn more about J-M241 [old haplogroup J2b2*] click on the name to reach and on the following J-M241 Project at for a specialized project.

Relationships of those tested

Descendants of Richard1 of the Welcome, John1 of Philadelphia, Joseph1 of Chester County and Joseph2 (John1) of Bucks County were heavily concentrated in southeastern Pennsylvania and as part of the Quaker movement some migrated south to Virginia and the Carolinas. By the early 1800s they began to move into western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio; some from the southern states came back north and settled in western Ohio and throughout Indiana. They remained members of the Quaker movement well into the 1800s.

The Benedictus Townsend line descends from a common ancestor with the Bucklebury Townsend family at some point back in England. But they represent a separate migration to the United States. The origins of Benedictus are not known. His descendants moved to Pittsylvania County, VA, Kentucky, throughout the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida, with some eventually following a migration route through the south that took them to Texas in the 1800s.

There is one recently published genealogy for the Bucklebury family:

David L. Green, PhD, CG, FASG, "Townsend Ancestry of Richard1 of the Welcome, John1 of Philadelphia, Joseph1 of Chester County, and Joan1 of Chester County." Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine, Vol. 42 (2002), 293-313. Greene traces their origins back to the Bucklebury area and treats some of the early generations in America.

There are three published genealogies that relate to the Benedictus family group:

Benedictus Townsend of South Carolina, compiled by Joseph T. and Clarice T. Burval, 2006.  This is a genealogy of the descendants of Benedictus Townsend that focuses primarily on two of his four known sons. They are John Townsend (1740-1786) and Light Townsend (1745-1817), Revolutionary War patriot and soldier respectively, who lived in Craven County (now Marlboro County), South Carolina during the Revolutionary War.  [the link to their website no longer exists, LTF, 7/8/22]

The genealogy starts in 1736 when Benedictus Townsend lived in Sussex County, Delaware with his wife, Lucilla Light, daughter of William Light. Benedictus removed from Delaware to Granville County, North Carolina in 1750 and in 1764 removed to what was to become Marlboro County, South Carolina.

Son John Townsend (1740-1786) died in South Carolina. Many of his children moved into Georgia and Florida in the 1800's, leaving many descendants. Most Townsend descendants in Florida, South Carolina and Texas currently believe they descend from Light Townsend (1745-1817) however this genealogy shows that they also descend from his brother John Townsend (1740-1786).

Son Light Townsend (1745-1817) went to Kentucky in 1788 where he died leaving many descendants.

This genealogy also shows that Thomas Townsend (1735-1796) who is discussed as Thomas Townsend (1732-1796) in Riely Leon Townsend's Genealogy of the Townsend-Townshend Family, Oklahoma City, OK, 1973 (available on CD from the TSA) is a son of Benedictus Townsend.

The fourth son, William Townsend (1746- ), is included as a son of Benedictus Townsend but little is known about him or his descendants.

Thomas Townsend (1765-1828) was a son of John Townsend (1740-1786) rather than Light Townsend (1745- 1817) and died in Florida. His sons went to Texas and are discussed in Tula Townsend Wyatt's The Seven Townsend Brothers of Texas 1826-1838, San Marcos, TX, 1974.

Click Here to access downloadable information on these family sub-groups. (Note: if you are already logged in as a member you will be connected directly; if you are not logged in you will directed to do so - then go to Downloads and choose Bucklebury & Benedictus.)