Our English Roots




Towne Family Association, Inc. employed Charles Farrow, a researcher in England, for many years to explore the background of the Towne and Blessing families, along with numerous associated lines. He has written numerous articles for About Towne detailing his findings. If you have missed seeing these articles, or would like to read them again, you will find them collected here, along with articles by Karen Johnsen, our genealogist for English research. :

About Towne English Research Articles

He has provided us with photographs of supporting documents which he has found in the Norfolk Records Office, the Suffolk Records Office and various other repositories in the area where our ancestors lived. TFA members who visited England in 2012 were fortunate enough to be able to view and photograph many of these documents in person, and now we are making copies available for viewing by all TFA members. Please note: These articles and documents are for the use of individual TFA members only and are not to be disseminated via genealogy sites such as Ancestry.com or social media sites such as Facebook.

The Salmon Archives

Over the course of a number of years, Charles Farrow has been searching for records relating to Isaac Estey's mother's ancestors - so the ancestors of all Mary Towne Estey descendants- Robert and William Salmon. Charles has written a series of detailed articles for About Towne tracing this family, In these articles, he provided extensive transcriptions of documents he found. Now he is sending us images of the actual documents. Four are included here and more will be added as they are received. Please remember that these are Towne Family Association proprietary documents, and that while you may download them to read at your leisure for your own personal use, you may not include them in published work or post on the web in any format.



William Towne and Joanna Blessing were married in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England at St. Nicholas Church on 25 April 1620.

`
Marriage record for William Towne and Joanna Blessing
Photograph courtesy of Karen Johnsen

Following our trip to England in 2012, Rae Johnson compiled a booklet containing photographs and information about the churches we visited. We are in the process of adding copies of documents associated with each church to the booklet. This is a work in progress since adding each individual file is a time-consuming process. These record images are the property of TFA, Inc. and are provided for educational purposes only, for your own personal use. They may not be shared by electronic means on any social media or on a genealogical website like ancestry.com or familysearch.com.

2012 England Tour Booklet compiled by Rae Johnson



TFA members were proud to contribute funds for the restoration of the Hintlesham map showing Estey property.

Hintlesham Map Project



TFA views PERKINS Wills & Inventories at Lichfield Record Office in Lichfield, UK and donates money for conservation of records



Will and Inventory of Allyce Perkins before restoration

On Wednesday June 7th, 2017 the TFA England participants went to the Lichfield Record Office to view the wills and inventories related to the Perkins family of Hillmorton, UK. Joseph Towne married Phebe Perkins in Topsfield, MA in 1663. We viewed wills and inventories for the first four generations of the Perkins family leading to Phebe Perkins 7 generations later.


  • 1st Generation: Thomas Perkins (Will 1528) wife Alice Alys de Astley (Will & Inventory of 1538)
  • 2nd Generation: Henry Perkins (Probate only in Act Book 4 Vol. 44 in 1546) wife unknown
  • 3rd Generation: Thomas Perkins Sr. (Will and Inventory 1588) wife Alice Kebble
  • 4th Generation: Henry Perkins (1609 Administration Act and Inventory) wife Elizabeth Sawbridge>/li>
  • 5th Generation: John Perkins and Judith Gator
  • 6th Generation: Thomas Perkins and Phebe Gould
  • 7th Generation: Phebe Perkins and Joseph Towne Generation 1

The Will and Inventory of Alice Perkyns was in a very bad state of preservation. TFA made a donation to have the Will and Inventory restored. This has now been completed. The conservator made a video of the will being repaired. It took some time to put the video together but they wanted to share this with the Towne Association. I think you will find this very interesting. You can see this video by clicking on this link: WATCH to see the amazing restoration process.

Look in the April-May-June 2017 About Towne Vol. XXXVII No. 2 to learn more about the Perkins family. The article called The Perkins Family of Hillmorton, Warwickshire by Charles Farrow can be found on pages 35-44. On these pages, Charles has transcribed the wills and inventories so that they can be easily read. Our visit to the record office June 7th allowed us to view these records first hand.

The Lichfield Record Office is closing in January. Their records will be moved to the Stafford Record Office. All records will be available to be viewed beginning in May 2018. staffordshire.archives@staffordshire.gov.uk.




TFA Members at Norfolk Records Office, September 2012
Photograph courtesy of Karen Johnsen

William was baptized at St. Nicholas Church, Great Yarmouth on 15 March 1598/99, the son of John Towne and Elizabeth Clarke. Earlier researchers had identified William as the son of Richard and Ann Towne of Braceby, but this has since been disproved.

William, baptized 18 March 1598

William, baptized 18 March 1598 Close-up

Joanna was the daughter of John Blessing and Jone, baptized in Holy Trinity Church in Caister-on-Sea, Norfolk, England.

Jone (Joanna), baptized 22 June 1595

Six of the children of William and Joanna were baptized at St. Nicholas Church in Great Yarmouth:



Susan died before the family left England:

Susan, buried 29 Jul 1630

Susan, buried 29 Jul 1630 Close-up

We were able to view numerous other documents at the Norwich Records Office, including:

William Towne Y C4 302 Enrollment of Apprenticeship Indenture 5 Nov 1608 BASKET MAKER Norfolk Record Office TRG photo

John Towne Y C4 327 Enrollment of Apprenticeship Indenture 25 Apr 1635 Norfolk Record Office TRJ photo

W & J Towne DN VIS 64 Bishop's Visitation 1633 Presentment for not receiving Communion at Easter Last Norfolk Records Office TRJ photo

W & J Towne 1633 visitation Norfolk Records Office TRJ photo

William & Joanna Towne DN ANW 2 71 Archdeacon's Visitation23 Oct 1634 Middle of left side Norfolk Records Office TRJ photo

Back to top