Will and Inventory of Allyce Perkins before restoration

On Wednesday June 7th, 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.


What Is a "Second Cousin Once Removed?"

"A term often found in genealogy is "removed," specifically when referring to family relationships. Indeed, almost everyone has heard of a "second cousin once removed," but many people cannot explain that relationship. Of course, a person might be more than once removed, as in third cousin, four times removed.

In short, the definition of cousins is two people who share a common ancestor. Here are a few definitions of cousin relationships:

First Cousin: Your first cousins are the people in your family who have at least one of the same grandparents as you. In other words, they are the children of your aunts and uncles.
Second Cousin: Your second cousins are the people in your family who share the same great-grandparent with you.
Third, Fourth, and Fifth Cousins: Your third cousins share at least one great-great-grandparent, fourth cousins share a great-great-great-grandparent, and so on.
Removed: When the word "removed" is used to describe a relationship, it indicates that the two people are from different generations. "Once removed" indicates a difference of one generation, "twice removed" indicates a difference of two generations, and so forth.

For example, the child of your first cousin is your first cousin, once removed. That is, your cousin's child would be "almost" your first cousin, except that he or she is one generation removed from that relationship. Likewise, the grandchild of your first cousin is your first cousin, twice removed (two generations removed from being a first cousin).

Many people confuse the term "first cousin, once removed" with "second cousin." The two are not the same.

Keep in mind that you and a relative only need to share one grandparent to be first cousins, or share one great-grandparent to be second cousins, etc. If the ancestor in question had more than one spouse and the two of you are descended from different spouses, you are full cousins. There is no such thing as a "half cousin" although you will hear people use that term occasionally...."

If TFA members have any genealogy questions, please submit them to us. We will be posting common questions and answers as we receive them.


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.

Please direct inquiries to TFA genealogist Elizabeth Hanahan


Susannah Towne and Thomas Hayward - Clarification

We frequently get questions on the website about Susannah Towne who was married to Thomas Hayward. The daughter of William and Joanna Towne was Susan who was baptized on October 26, 1625 at St. Nicholas Church, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England, and died in Great Yarmouth on July 29, 1630 before the family emigrated to America.

Lois Hoover, on page 5 of her book, Towne Family:Five Generations of Descendants , clears up the confusion between Susan and Susannah:

Many have identified Susan as Susannah, wife of Thomas Hayward. In New England Marriages Prior to 1700, Clarence Almon Torrey suggests the wife of Thomas Hayward was the Aunt of Peter Towne of Charlestown. This was based on Peter identifying Susannah Hayward's children as cousins in his will; however, Torrey places the name Towne in brackets [-], indicating this claim is not proved. Susannah, wife of Thomas hayward, was born at least 20 years before Susan, based on the ship logs when the Hayward family came to New England.

We have no further information about this family.

Towne Cemetery in Londonderry, NH

Photography courtesy of Heather Wilkinson Rojo

The Boyd and Towne Families of Londonderry, New Hampshire
(Source: Excerpts from the Nutfield Genealogy blog of Heather Wilkinson Rojo by Elizabeth Hanahan)
A few years ago two portraits were donated by a descendant to the Londonderry Leach Library, and their story was printed in the Derry News. They were primitive style paintings of Robert W. Boyd and his wife, Mary Lund Towne Boyd painted by the itinerant portrait painter, Horace Bundy,in 1851. In the days before photography, it was common to hire these self-taught artists to capture the family on canvas. Click to read the story of Robert Boyd and Mary Towne.


A recommendation from Associate Genealogist Virginia Towne...

An often neglected source of terrific genealogical information are Wills and Probate Records. This is the first post for the New England States,with 420 Free Probate Records and Wills Collections to research online. Check out each New England state at:

Wills and Probate Records

Fun Fact! Did you know that July 19, 2017 was declared Rebecca Nurse Day in Massachusetts?