Our English Roots





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

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

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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

Towne Family Association, Inc. has 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.

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

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