This interesting surname of English origin is a topographical name for someone who lived at the extremity of a village, deriving from the Middle English "tone", "tune" meaning a "village" or "settlement" plus the Middle English "end" (Old English "ende"). The surname dates back to the late 13th Century, (see below). Further recordings include one Richard atte Tounende (1297), "Ministers' Accounts of the Earldom of Cornwall", and William atte Townesend (1327), "The subsidy Rolls of Worcestershire".Variations in the idiom of the spelling Townend, Townen, Townsend, etc.. One, Jone Townsend married Edmond Bradley on June 20th 1540, at St. Martin Orgae and St. Clement Eastcheap, London. Henry Townshend married Margaret Bedlow on October 22nd 1542, at St. Stephen, Coleman Street, London. Sir Roger Townshend (died 1413) was a judge and also founder of the Townshend family. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Geoffrey de le Tuneshende, which was dated 1273, "The Subsidy Rolls of Norfolk". during the reign of King Edward 1, "The Hammer of the Scots", 1273 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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