Towne Family Association, Inc.

TOWNE FAMILY ASSOCIATION, INC. is a not-for-profit educational genealogical organization founded in 1980. Members are the descendants of William and Joanna (Blessing) Towne who came to America from Great Yarmouth, England and settled in Salem, MA about 1635. The couple had eight children, three of whom, Rebecca Nurse, Mary Esty, and Sarah Cloyse, were caught up in the Witchcraft Hysteria in Salem in 1692. Rebecca and Mary were hanged. TFA includes descendants of both the male and female lines of the TOWNE, NURSE, ESTY, BRIDGES, CLOYSE and associated families.

Please explore our site and send us your feedback. It is a work in progress and we welcome all ideas to make this a valuable resource for all of our members. We hope you will contribute articles and pictures to the site.

A word about our database. It has been developed over the past 43 years based on contributions of lineages from members. Not all of these lineages included source information and as such are presented as unverified. They should be considered as providing direction for you as you develop your own research, but, unless the data is supported by a recognized source, it should not be considered to be definitive. We are working to verify our data, but this is a long-term project. To help with this, please send any corrections or changes you find in your own line, along with sources to us:

Have fun! Explore the site! Send us your ideas!

PLEASE NOTE: The information in our database is provided as a member service and is for the exclusive use of TFA members. While vital records are open to the public, member stories, photographs and the like are not without written permission from TFA and the member who submitted the information.


Towne Family Association, Inc., was organized in 1980 by William Bradford Towne and Alexandria Deena Towne. Deena, who became the first president, died in 1988. Bill Towne, who died in 1995, became the first editor of the quarterly newsletter, About Towne which has been published by the organization since January-February-March 1981. The organization holds an annual reunion, the first being held 22 August 1981 at the Howard Johnson's Restaurant in Danvers, Massachusetts. See the Reunions page for locations of subsequent reunions.

The Association was incorporated in Delaware in 1989 as a not-for-profit genealogical organization to be able to give all persons interested in the Towne family a source to find their place in the family. All officers of the Association serve without remuneration. Members donate many hours of work to keep the success of the group going. We have a devoted group who edit and publish the current About Towne newsletter each quarter. Articles are provided by many members nationwide, who make the newsletter one of interest for all readers.

The organization of over 500 members holds an annual reunion in various parts of the United States which attracts new members from far and wide. The reunions are coordinated by volunteers each year. New members are recruited on the TFA website, and by reference to TFA by organizations such as the Nurse Homestead in Massachusetts.

The organization has a genealogist responsible for receiving and coordinating research from members. A large database has been compiled from submissions by members of their ancestry throughout the years. To submit new or corrected information to the database, contact Elizabeth Hanahan at



Recipes from our 1992 cookbook. Check back regularly for a new selection!



Sunshine Ambassador: Barbara Cole is our official sunshine ambassador. If you know of a member or family member of a member who is ill or deceased, or who has had an addtion to their family, or are celebrating a significant birthday or anniversary you should contact Barb who will send a card or make a phone call on behalf of TFA at:.


Membership is by calendar year, from January through December.

Members receive an internet subscription to About Towne, our colorful TFA quarterly newsletter and may access its 42-volume archive of past issues. Each issue contains articles of genealogical research, historical and biographical papers about family members, and reports of TFA activities, both regional and national. Current and past issues may be downloaded for viewing or printing. An email reminder is sent to members when each new issue of About Towne is posted to the TFA web site. If you would prefer to have a printed copy mailed to you, please contact Carolyn Cogswell directly at

Members also may search on the TFA website among the more than 88,000 names in the Towne Family Tree and submit their own genealogical data to our TFA Genealogist for comment or questions.

Click below to join or renew. Renewals are due by January 1st. Please renew as soon as possible so as not to miss the latest news!

2024 Membership Form

Please direct membership inquiries to the Interim Executive Secretary Carolyn Cogswell


Rebecca Nurse Homestead 2022
Photography courtesy of Dianna Estee Emerson