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About Towne

Volume XXX, No. 4 October-November-December 2010



64..........................Editor's In-Box 65......................President's Letter 66.........................England in 2012 67.....................Historian's Corner: First New England Settlements 70, 77.............. 30th Annual Towne Family Reunion Photos 72.................Meeting in the Middle 78, 79...........................Obituaries 79...........................New Members 80........2011 TFA Reunion in Salem 81..........About Towne deadlines 82................TFA Charter Members

Towne Family Association, Inc., Celebrates Thirtieth Annual Meeting in Omaha

The thirtieth annual meeting of the Towne Family Association was called to order at 10:35 a.m. at the Marriott Regency Circle in Omaha, NE, on Saturday, Sept. 25, 2010, by President Elizabeth Hanahan. Elizabeth expressed thanks of the entire association to Anita Carson for her hard work in planning the many details of this gathering of TFA. A hearty round of applause was offered by the gathered members. The pledge of allegiance was led by past president Shirley Patterson. Elizabeth shared some thoughts about the past year in TFA. She has had contact with the group that has been working on creating the TowneTreadwell Walking Path in Danvers. The walking path will include a portion of the original homestead of William and Joanna Towne. She has also heard from the group hoping to restore the Clayes house in Framingham about TFA being supportive and involved. The group does not yet have clear title to the property, so Elizabeth recommends holding off on any further TFA involvement until that issue is settled. There have been successful regional meetings of the TFA members in Tennessee, and Elizabeth suggests this could be a way of keeping in touch with people who are scattered around the country and unable to attend the annual reunion. Another Tennessee meeting is in the works, and possibly a Southern California meeting. The New England Regional Genealogical Conference will be hosting a meeting in April 2011, in Springfield, MA. Elizabeth will be hosting the TFA table in the display area and welcomes any help members would like to give her, or just seeing members at the event. Recording Secretary Barry Cass called the officers' roll. Present: President--Elizabeth Hanahan; Executive Secretary--Virginia Towne; Recording Secretary--Barry Cass. Not present: First Vice President--Raymond

Visit our website for all the latest news!

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Executive Office

1400 Fones Rd. S.E., #7-101 Olympia, WA 98501 (360) 539-7768 E-mail: [email protected]

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From the editor's in-box...

After chairing a successful reunion celebrating 30 years of the Towne Family Association, Anita Carson wrote:

TFA Website: President: Elizabeth Hanahan

P.O. Box 367, Bethlehem, CT 06751 E-mail: [email protected]

Vice-President: Raymond Towne III VP Programs: Lynn Bolte VP Publications: Ann Hager-Koshar Genealogist: Karen Towne

2303 Denmark St., Muskegon, MI 49441 E-mail: [email protected] For genealogical data and questions.

"I want to thank everyone who came to Omaha for the TFA 30th annual meeting. We had 44 people attending, several who attended for the first time and a few who had not attended for many years. The hospitality room was a convenient place for many to congregate and visit. The silent auction was a big success, and a big thanks is due all who donated items to be bid on. I appreciate the cards and notes that I have received from members telling me they had a good time and enjoyed the meeting. I will see you all next year in Salem."

Lois Hoover reported on the status of her book, Towne Family: Five Generations of Descendants:

Executive Secretary: Virginia Towne

Use the Executive Office address for all new member applications, membership renewals and fees as well as membership questions and procedures.

"The new book has been well-received and two-thirds of the copies have sold. Members were very gracious with their compliments at the wonderful Omaha reunion. I have received many messages from members expressing their gratitude for the work that went into this book, and their kindness has meant so much. I want to thank everyone who has supported my work by purchasing books--21 to date--for libraries. Karen Johnsen purchased a book for Charles Farrow in England, and the TFA purchased a book for the continued on page Norfolk Record Office in Norwich, England. The book has been en-3 tered in the National Genealogical Society and Connecticut Society of Genealogists book contests, and a copy has been sent to the New England Historic Genealogical Society for a review. The price is $75, including mailing. California residents add $6.19 sales tax. Send checks payable to Lois P. Hoover to 24093 Eucalyptus Ct., Auburn, CA 95602-8226."

And Richard Trask, archivist at the Peabody Institute, Danvers, MA, wrote in part to Lois Hoover about her Towne book:

Treasurer: Linda Bixby Fulmer

E-mail: [email protected]

Recording Secretary: Barry Cass Parliamentarian: Barry Cass Sunshine: Mary F. Towne

4099 Push Mountain P.O. Box 22, Norfolk, AR 72658 E-mail: [email protected]


All membership inquiries should go to the Executive Office.

NEWSLETTER Editor: Carole Towne Seaton

15901 W. Killarney Ave. Tucson, AZ 85736 E-mail for newsletter submissions, questions: [email protected] About Towne is the official voice of the allvolunteer Towne Family Association, Inc. Unless otherwise specified by the source person or copyright holder, all submissions become the property of the association for purposes of publication and inclusion in historical files. Published quarterly: March, June, September and December.

"Your compilation of the families of the children of William and Joanna Towne is a very fresh and logical layout full of great information and primary source documentation. Your end notes and index are reader-friendly and make an archivist like me very happy. This is certainly a tour de force and a genealogical volume whose layout and attention to details should be an example to others....This book will be an important addition to our collections, as well as within my personal library. Thank you for all your efforts and congratulations on the creation of a superb resource."



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Our 30th reunion in Omaha, NE, was enjoyable and very productive. Meeting the numerous firsttimers and reconnecting with cousins who have not been able to attend in many years was lots of fun. I know you will enjoy reading about everything in this issue. Many thanks to Anita Carson for all her planning. Thanks also to her daughter, Sue, for providing us with wonderful photographs of the weekend. Plans are well underway for our 2011 reunion, which will take place in Salem, MA, next August. Beginning with holding a summer meeting, co-chairs Julia and Sarah DiCicco are putting together an innovative reunion which will incorporate all of the elements of our usual meetings in a format which they hope will appeal to families. Just a note: because of the earlier meeting date, the registration form will be in the March issue of the newsletter. Be on the lookout for it! Plans are also underway for our next trip to ancestral sites in England to take place in September 2012. TFA member Karen Johnsen has been working closely for several months with our English genealogist, Charles Farrow, and trip providers in England to put together a cost-effective meaningful experience. You will be reading about this trip starting on the next page, and more in future issues of About Towne as details are finalized over the next several months. January 1st is the start of our membership year, so it is DUES TIME!!! This issue of About Towne is arriving in your mailboxes later than usual to accommodate our transition to a new treasurer which will take place January 1st. After ten years as our treasurer, Will Purvis has decided it is time to step down and devote more time to other activities. We thank him for his extensive service and wish him well. Linda Bixby Fulmer was elected in Omaha to replace him. Your dues again will be sent to Virginia Towne. I would like to encourage people to renew early. Last year, Virginia sent out 118 reminder letters, an unbudgeted expense which is avoidable if everyone renews in a timely manner. In an effort to protect the personal contact information of our members, we will no longer be publishing membership lists in About Towne. With our newsletter disseminated to various libraries and organizations as well as posted on our website, we decided that it was better to mail a copy of the membership directory only to members once a year in July. IF YOUR DUES ARE RECEIVED AFTER JUNE 30, 2011, YOUR NAME WILL NOT APPEAR IN THE MEMBERSHIP DIRECTORY. Please take a moment to renew now. As you will see as you read through this issue, we have lots of exciting projects underway for the coming year. Don't forget to check back on the website,, to read about the latest updates between issues. Hope your holidays were festive and that you have a happy, healthy new year! --Elizabeth




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2012 TFA Reunion and Annual Meeting In Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England

As you can read in the article below, plans are underway to hold our 2012 reunion while on our trip to England in September 2012. This was suggested by our English genealogist, Charles Farrow, who has guided our group on previous trips and who has been working actively with Karen Johnsen to plan another memorable trip for us. We are investigating the possibility of holding the annual meeting in one of the rooms in St. Nicholas Church, Great Yarmouth. This will truly be a once-in-a lifetime experience. How astounded would William and Joanna Towne be to find their descendants gathered to honor them in the very church in which they were married and six of their children were baptized! Incorporating the meeting into the trip has a practical advantage as well. Instead of members coming to the East Coast for three or four days and then traveling on to England, they will be able to go directly to England from their own cities. This will significantly reduce costs for lodging, meals and transportation. It will also reduce the amount of time involved for those who cannot commit nearly two weeks to the TFA events. We hope you will seriously consider joining us for this reunion. We will be working out the logistics throughout the year and will be keeping you up to date on plans in future newsletters and on the website. --Elizabeth



Itinerary by Karen Johnsen and Charles Farrow Want to search out your Towne family roots? Want to know where the Towne family emigrated from, when and why? Want history to come alive? Join cousins in England for the 2012 Towne Family Reunion. Here is our tentative schedule. Day 1 (Tues., Sept. 4th, 2012) Fly to Heathrow Airport, London, England. Make your own flight arrangements from your home to Heathrow to arrive by the evening of Tues., Sept. 4, 2012. Making your own flight arrangements allows flexibility in choice of airlines and fares and gives those with frequent flyer miles the ability to use their miles. And it allows those wishing to add additional travel in England before or after the TFA trip to do so. Day 2 (Wed., Sept. 5th, 2012) Our trip begins this morning at the Holiday Inn/Heathrow Hotel. We will meet at 8 a.m. for breakfast, then board our coaches and begin our Towne family genealogy tour. On our way to Norwich, we will stop in Hintlesham, where we will visit the Hintlesham parish church and

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HISTORIAN'S CORNER First New England Settlements

By Virginia Towne All immigrants seek to find comfort in the familiar. If you have always known certain patterns and there is no barrier to repeating those patterns, you will do so automatically. Mothers and daughters tend to arrange their kitchens the same; the daughter learns to reach in a certain place for an article in her mother's kitchen and so puts that item in the same place in her own home. The first New England settlers had free rein to recreate the lives they had always known, and therefore they replicated what they had before coming to this new land. English villages have a certain model from the earliest days and those patterns were duplicated when the settlers started filling the "empty" land that they had found. English villages tended to have houses, small shops and church grouped together. The land outside the village was divided up in "strips" among the residents and the "hall" in feudal times. Each person would farm his own land and the land of the overlord on a specified ratio. As the times progressed the farmland around the village was still in the old model, but the farmers no longer had to work for the overlord in his area. The peasants were freed and were able to own or rent the land they farmed. In New England, when the settlers arrived they drew up a plan that basically called for villages to be set up with a certain amount of land around each village. This land was divided up among the residents. A family would have the right to graze a certain number of cattle on the town green, be assigned a house lot in the village and farmland outside of town in one or more places. The houses they built looked a lot like the houses in England. They used lumber that was cut into boards and built with permanency in mind. The first task was to build the houses and barns and get the farms functioning. Taverns were a frequent feature of the town; they were a place to gather and a place for travelers to put up for the night. After the town started to function, then the leading citizens would meet together to decide who was holy enough to enter a covenant church. Until the church was gathered and a building built, the future congregation could meet together anywhere or go back to an established church. When the town reached a certain size a grammar school would be built to educate the boys beyond what they learned at home. A store could operate out of a house, or a store might have been built with an apartment above or behind it. This then is the pattern for rural New England, ignoring Boston for the moment. The majority of the population lived in the villages in the beginning, after settling in Boston for a short stay to get accliContinued on page 81 67

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L. Towne, III; Vice President of Programs (Interim)--Linda Stone; Treasurer--Wilbur L. Purvis. A quorum was determined and the meeting continued. Elizabeth read a list of members who passed away since the last meeting: Ralph Burton Ballou, Jr., Richard Chubb, David Robert Bosley, John Fletcher, Dolowries Wulfhorst, Richard A. Warner, William Barry Towne, Natalie Esta Towne Bailey, Grace Eaton Scott and Waldo R. Jones. A moment of silence was observed. Correspondence from members not present was shared, including notes from charter member Emma Towne Mosher, Sarah DiCicco (her mother, Dorothy will be 90 in October) and Mona Worsencroft in Arkansas. The oldest member in attendance was Vera Sutphin. The youngest member in attendance was Eric Leinen. There were fifteen first-timers and six new members present. The minutes of the twenty-ninth meeting (Sept. 26, 2009) were accepted as printed. Elizabeth Hanahan offered the treasurer's report in Will's absence. We ended the year with a $398 net loss. The loss is a result of the cancellation of the England trip and expenses that needed to be paid to the English genealogist. The auditor's report was accepted as printed. It was noted that, as is customary, an outside auditor will be paid to do a full audit of the books when they are transferred to the new treasurer. President Hanahan presented the report of Vice President of Publications Ann Hager-Koshar, which said that she now has a bulk mail permit to send About Towne, reducing the cost. She has also been able to use the services of an independent printer who has accommodated our needs. We experienced a savings of $414.04 in 2009-2010. Genealogist Karen Towne was not present, but reported organizing information to help people with their genealogical research and now has an index available. Vice President of Programs (Interim) Linda Stone sent a report. The report on the website notes that help is needed to keep the site updated. Anyone with experience is welcome to help. Members were also reminded to keep using the Yahoo site, as it is a good way to connect with people who might be interested in membership. There was discussion of the DNA project and the progress being made. There was a proposal from the Committee to reimburse participants the cost of the testing when necessary. There was discussion about an appropriate amount, and it was decided to leave this decision up to the committee. Paul Towne moved and Virginia Towne seconded a motion to use funds from the TFA general fund to subsidize tests for three 67 markers, the giving of these grants to be overseen by the chair of the DNA committee. The motion passed. Regarding archives, Arthur Towne is investigating alternatives for archive storage. This is ongoing. Executive Secretary Virginia Towne reported that the publicity, especially through the website, is paying off in new members and reminded us all to make use of the website and the available TFA brochures. Carole Towne Seaton, newsletter editor, is anxious to receive material from members. She welcomes articles, stories, pictures and other materials members may have to share.

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Elizabeth recognized several members with certificates: Anita Carlson for her service in planning this meeting; Carole Towne Seaton and Virginia Towne for work they have done to update the newsletter and keep us informed; Ann Koshar for her work on the newsletter; Linda Stone for her many contributions as vice-president of programs; and Will Purvis for his long service as treasurer. OLD BUSINESS Nurse Homestead: There are issues regarding upkeep with Danvers Alarm Co. We will keep an eye on things and determine if there is action TFA needs to take. Membership Committee: Appointed at the 2009 meeting; had nothing to report. England Trip: There is a possibility we can make the trip in September 2012 and various possibilities are being explored to keep costs down. There is some thought of having the 2012 meeting in Great Yarmouth. Stay tuned! NEW BUSINESS Remember to renew your membership! After some discussion it was moved by Ruth Real, seconded by Virginia Towne, that $500 be moved into the annual meeting account as seed money, so the meeting chair does not have to worry about funds to get started with planning. The 2011 family reunion and annual meeting will be in August in Salem. As mentioned above, we are looking at the possibility of having the 2012 reunion and annual meeting in England and also are looking for hosts for 2013 and beyond. Lois Hoover presented a copy of her book for the TFA archives. She expressed thanks to all those who have helped her with the creation and publication of the book, and noted there are copies available from her. The nomination committee presented a slate of officers, and Barbara Cole moved it be accepted. It was seconded by Carole Seaton and the motion carried. The following recommendations were presented from the Executive Committee by Barry Cass: We contribute up to $500 to the Clayes house project, once the title questions are settled, and $500 to St. Nicholas Parish Church in Great Yarmouth, England. (Passed) Spend up to $1,800 to erect a stone marker at the site of the William and Joanna Towne homestead on the Towne-Treadwell Walking Path in Danvers. An additional $200 from the Jim and Marie Roome Genealogical Fund will be applied to this project if needed. (Passed) We donate a copy of Lois Hoover's book, Towne Family: Five Generations of Descendants to the Norwich Records Office in England. (Passed) Hold off on donating to Nurse Homestead this year and try to determine what the future will be. (Passed)

The DNA committee suggested that it would be helpful for us to have members who are tested undergo a "deep clade" test, which we are not currently doing. It was moved by Virginia Towne and seconded by Barry Cass that we pay half the cost of this test. Paul Towne offered to pay half the cost when his DNA is tested. With thanks for all participants, and reminders of the rest of the weekend's activities, the meeting adjourned at 12:35 p.m. --Respectfully, Barry Cass, Recording Secretary



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FIRST-TIMERS at the 30th annual Towne Family Association, Inc., meeting in Omaha were, left to right, Steve and Terri Lambing, Carole Seaton, Virginia Peterson, Donna Torrey, Sue Carson, Marilyn Towne, Sandi Leinen, Ruth A. Real, Marilyn Swett, Robert Town, Ann Town, Eric Leinen, and Charles Towne.



MEETING CHAIR Anita Carson, 3rd from left, brought daughter Sue Carson, 2nd from left, and cousins Marilyn Towne and Donna Torrey to the annual meeting.

THE MARRIOTT provided a delicious dinner to conclude the 30th annual meeting. Around the table from left foreground are Lois Hoover, James McCutchan, Alice McCutchan, Ann Louise Denehy, Norman Towne, Virginia Towne, Paul Towne, and Linda Towne. 70

PRESIDENT ELIZABETH HANAHAN and meeting chair Anita Carson distributed silent auction items to winning bidders.


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PAUL TOWNE presented the latest results of DNA testing on descendants of William and Joanna Blessing Towne.

During the business meeting, Virginia Towne and Carole Seaton discussed issues while Barry Cass recorded proceedings.

Meeting chair Anita Carson and Lois Hoover at Boys Town.

OMAHA PARTICIPANTS: 1st row, left to right: Steve Lambing, Donna Torrey, Carole Seaton, Elizabeth Hanahan, Anita Carson, Marilyn Swett, Vera Sutphin, Barbara Cole. 2nd row: Terri Lambing, Ann Louise Denehy, Marilyn Towne, Alice McCutchan, Carolyn Keothe, Elizabeth Morfitt, Shirley Patterson, Linda Towne, Sandi Leinen, Lois Hoover, C. Sue Shanafelt. 3rd row: Charles Peterson, Norman Towne, Barry Cass, Virginia Towne, Virginia Peterson, Bob Hanahan, Paul Towne, Lynn Bolte, Ann Town, Dianne Moran, Ruth A. Real. 4th row: James McCutchan, Jim Dwinell, Jim Patterson, Eric Leinen, Charles Towne, Dave Bolte, Robert Town. Not pictured: Lewis and Evelyn Hancock; photographer Sue Carson. 71


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Westward to Omaha by Elizabeth Hanahan Eastward to Omaha by Virginia Towne

September 16, 2010 [Elizabeth] Packing the camper and closing up the house for three weeks, as usual, took longer than expected so we didn't get on the road until 1:30 p.m. After winding through northwestern Connecticut, we arrived at my cousin Peter's house in Memphis, NY, at 6:30. We had dinner there with a number of family members including Peter's first grandchild, just arrived on her first trip from Alaska. September 17, 2010 [Elizabeth] We drove 389 miles today and stayed in the Milan Travel Park in Milan, OH. At a roadside stand along the way, we bought a huge basket of grapes which provided snacks for several days, and we stopped at the Penn Shores Winery. September 18, 2010 [Elizabeth] We drove 303 miles today to Riverside, MI, where we stayed at the St. Joseph KOA. On the way, we realized that we were going through prime grape-growing territory so would be able to add to our "camper goal" of visiting one winery in each state of the union. Today we added two states with Mon Ami in Ohio, where we had lunch, and Cherry Creek in Michigan. [Virginia] Oh, what a day. It really didn't help that the fall inspection of my apartment is coming during the time I will be away. The car has been checked and is ready to go. I got up, packed, and loaded the car. Finally at 2 p.m. I am off, already exhausted. I only did the 200 miles to Dad's house; still, it was dark and raining when I got there. I went over White Pass with great views if the clouds had been higher. I noticed a headlight was out when I pulled into the driveway. September 19, 2010 [Elizabeth] 310 miles today to Wisconsin Dells, WI, where we visited with our foster daughter and her two children, who live about a half-hour north of there. We hadn't seen them since before they moved west last December, so had a nice visit. [Virginia] It is raining and blowing hard. This is the desert, where there is only six inches of rain a year, or less. I don't leave until late, almost 9 a.m. The rain is sheeting down and the road is slick over the hills. Things are not any better in Oregon, and I go past Pendleton (home of Pendleton Mills) in the rain and then up Cabbage Hill with rain, wind and dense fog. Finally at the top of the pass, things settle down. Now the hills appear and grand vistas can be seen. In Idaho the land is lovely and fertile but fairly flat, and the trip becomes a little monotonous; but I am making good time and push on to Pocatello before dark. Here I am back in the hills and I feel at home. I did almost 600 miles today. September 20, 2010 [Elizabeth] Now that we were within 500 miles of Omaha, we slowed down our pace, traveling only 151 miles to Winona, MN, where we stayed at a municipal park right on the banks of the Mississippi River. On the way there, we stopped at a cheese store in Wisconsin and

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had a picnic lunch at Wildcat Mountain State Park on the Kickapoo River. A nice campfire and nearly full moon made for a pleasant evening of relaxing after all the driving on previous days. [Virginia] Out as first light starts to shine. The road heads down a canyon as the sun tops the hills in front of me. Hot springs dot my progress in the morning; this is volcanic country. I turn at Montpelier, where Butch Cassidy ran amok and did a hold-up. From there I went to Paris, ID, and down along Bear Lake. Bear Lake is a very large lake of unimaginable turquoise blue framed by the mountains dotted with trees turning bright red and yellow. Then on to Kemmerer, WY, where the J. C. Penney stores got their start. I saw an antelope in the freeway interchange. Stopped at Fossil Butte National Monument. The sky between Laramie and Cheyenne was as lovely and dramatic as I remembered and the wind a little more than I remembered. It was a very busy day with great scenery and over 500 miles. September 21, 2010 [Elizabeth] Today we traveled north a little way on the west bank of the Mississippi, then crossed the bridge into Wisconsin again in order to visit two wineries along the Mississippi River Wine Trail in Winona, MN, and Fountain City, WI. After driving 212 miles, we stayed at Skip-A-Way Resort in Clermont, IA. [Virginia] I leave at dawn. After spending some time trying to find the Honda dealership, they fixed my headlight. At Sidney, NE, I pulled off for early lunch. I wondered around a bit and had some fun looking at the plateaus that just pop up from the flat land. As I drove across the state, I couldn't help noticing the many trees that were not there when I last came this way. The state was much greener than I remembered. I came into Omaha at dusk and found my way to the hotel, over 500 miles again. I asked for early check-in and it was granted. I was two days early. September 22, 2010 [Elizabeth] 383 miles today to Eugene T. Mahoney State Park in Ashland, NE, where Bob and the dogs would stay while I was occupied with TFA business. The final part of the trip was difficult due to high winds buffeting us the whole way. Appropriately, we stopped at Breezy Hills Vineyards just before crossing into Nebraska. [Virginia] I don't have to leave and go anywhere, so after breakfast I walked about a bit and went to a grocery. I had a good quiet day. Another member called and we agreed to meet the next morning for breakfast. September 23, 2010 [Elizabeth] A rainy day, but we stopped at the Lewis and Clark Historic Site in Omaha before arriving at the Marriott, where we found Virginia waiting in the lobby to greet us. [Virginia] Breakfast with the person who called and then worked a bit in my room. When the maid wanted in to clean I repaired to the lobby to see if I could spot anyone. Several of us had been walking the halls for the last 24 hours but had not run into each other. Finally our illustrious president came in and we were in business. The hospitality room opened at 3 p.m. and the party was on.


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elegant Hintlesham Hall. We will have an English-style lunch in Hintlesham Hall, noted for its great food and beautiful decor. In Hintlesham we will meet our English guide, Charles Farrow, who has been researching the Towne family for many years and is an expert on our family ancestry. After lunch we will visit the Suffolk record office and continue to St. Peter parish church in Freston. This day will be of particular interest for descendants of Mary (Towne) Estey, since the Estey family has roots in both Hintlesham and Freston. We will be staying at the Maid's Head Inn in Norwich for six nights. This is a historic hotel dating back to 1472. The Maid's Head Hotel is the oldest hotel in the United Kingdom and is steeped in history. Elizabeth I was once a guest. It was completely refurbished in 2008. It was awarded Norfolk Hotel of the Year 2008 by the Eastern Daily Press, the regional newspaper. The Maid's Head Hotel is a jewel in Norwich's crown. Centrally located in the Tombland area adjacent to Norwich Cathedral, it is the perfect base to explore the city and county of Norfolk.

The churchyard at the parish church of St. Mary, Somerleyton, includes recent burials as well as ancient ones.

Day 3 (Thurs., Sept. 6th, 2012) We will go to the Norfolk record office in Norwich to look at documents and records related to the Towne family. After leaving the record office, we will see the Lowestoft church, as there is an important Towne group that lived here in the mid-16th century. We will then travel to the parish church of St. Mary, Somerleyton. Joanna (Blessing) Towne's family has its roots in Somerleyton. We will lunch in Somerleyton and then tour of Somerleyton Hall and the English gardens. Day 4 (Fri., Sept. 7th, 2012) For Jacob Towne's descendants, a treat is in store. We will ride through Wroxham, heart of the Norfolk Broads, to the coast at Walcott. There in the parish church, the parents of Jacob Towne's wife, Catherine Symonds, were married May 1, 1624. Then we will drive down the Norfolk coast for a pub lunch. Crossing the River Yare, we visit All Saints Church, Belton, where we will see a medieval wall painting of St Christopher. John and Elizabeth Towne lived in this vicinity when William Towne was young. His sister was buried in the church grounds, and his brother was baptized here. The next stop is St. John the Baptist Church, Lound. This "golden church" is medieval, decorated in the 20th century as it would have looked before the Reformation--but look carefully at the St Christopher painting! This was an important center of the Towne family in the 16th century and produced the only will made by a Towne, which we will have already seen at Suffolk record office. Finally we visit St. Mary Church, Blundeston, where John Towne married Elizabeth Clarke and where Elizabeth was baptized.

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All Saints parish church, Belton.

The churchyard at All Saints, Belton.

Day 5 (Sat., Sept. 8th, 2012) We will visit Holy Trinity Church at Caister-On-Sea. Church records show that Joanna Blessing was baptized at this church: "22 June 1595 Jone Blessing daughter of John and Jone." We will then go to Great Yarmouth for a walking tour. We will visit the St. Nicholas Church grounds. We will then continue our walk around Great Yarmouth. The day will include the town walls, historic buildings and a museum such as the Tollhouse Museum.

The "golden church" of St. the John Baptist, Lound.

Black-and-white doesn't do justice to St. John the Baptist's interior.

Day 6 (Sun., Sept. 9th, 2012) We will return to Great Yarmouth for a church service at St. Nicholas parish church. This will be followed by lunch with the parishioners. We will be given a special tour of the church, where we will see the plaque which commemorates the Towne family. Our yearly Towne Family Reunion and business meeting will be held at the church in the afternoon. What an appropriate place to have our 2012 Towne Family Reunion! Day 7 (Mon., Sept. 10th, 2012) No trip to England is complete without visiting a magnificent cathedral or a historic castle. Our walking tour of Norwich has both and a lot more. In the morning we will visit the Norwich Cathedral, which is right across the street from our hotel. It was recently voted Norfolk's favorite building. There will be a guided tour of this cathedral and its close. We will continue our walk through Norwich. We will visit the shrine of the 14 th-century mystic, Julian of Norwich. After lunch, we will tour the battlements and dungeons of the great Norman Norwich Castle and explore the museum and art gallery there.

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Church records show Joanna Blessing was baptized at Holy Trinity, Caister-on-Sea, on June 22, 1595.

Day 8 (Tues., Sept. 11th, 2012) We leave Maid's Head Hotel and return to the Holiday Inn/Heathrow Airport, where our trip ends. On our way, we will travel to Lavenham. This is one of England's finest preserved medieval villages; every street is lined with pastel-colored, half-timbered houses. Opposite the coach park is the stunning parish church, which makes a wonderful starting point for a walk around this fascinating place. We'll have lunch here in one of these marvelous buildings. We will then travel to the Holiday Inn at Heathrow and arrive by 5:30 p.m. A block of rooms is reserved for our group. Day 9 (Wed., Sept. 12th, 2012) Shuttle to airport by hotel shuttle or taxi for your return flight. Trains, buses, planes and rental cars are available at Heathrow if you plan to stay on in England. Estimated cost* is $2,250 not including airfare, transfers from airport to hotel and some meals, although most meals are included. Look for more details and sign-up information for this exciting trip in the June newsletter, and check the expiration date on your passport now! *Based on prices and exchange rates as of October 2010.


Karen Johnsen is descended from three of William and Joanna Blessing Towne's children: Edmund, Mary and Joseph.



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Among descendants of Jacob Towne at the 30th annual reunion in Omaha were (front, left to right) Dianne Moran, Shirley Patterson, Elizabeth Hanahan, Vera Sutphin, Anita Carson, and Sue Carson; (rear) Marilyn Towne, Donna Torrey, Carolyn Keothe, Elizabeth Morfitt, Virginia Towne, Jim Dwinnell, Marilyn Swett, Barry Cass, and Charles Towne.

Joseph Towne's descendants in Omaha included (left to right) Barbara Cole, Paul Towne, Ruth Ann Real, Lynn Bolte, and C. Sue Shanafelt.

Sarah Towne's descendant at the 30th annual reunion of the TFA was Lois Hoover.



VOL. XXX No. 4

Waldo R. Jones 1917--2010

Waldo R. Jones, age 93, of Simsbury, CT, died Aug. 20. Mr. Jones was a longtime TFA member and frequently was the oldest member in attendance at TFA annual reunions. He was born August 19, 1917, in Alfred, NY, and had lived in Simsbury for over 54 years. He was a World War II veteran and attended Alfred University prior to enlisting in the military. Mr. Jones was a claims supervisor at Fireman's Fund Insurance in Hartford for many years. Besides Adele, his wife of 68 years, he is survived by his son, Waldo Jones; two daughters, Diane Nathanson and Pamela Deutsch; his sister; three grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. Memorial gifts may be made to the Simsbury Volunteer Ambulance Assn., P.O. Box 301, Simsbury, CT 06070.

Upper left, Alice McCutchan represented descendants of Rebecca Towne in Omaha. Mary Towne's descendants at the reunion (upper right) were TFA president Elizabeth Hanahan (also a descendant of Jacob) and Terri Lambing with spouse Steve Lambing. Below, Edmund Towne's descendants (and spouses) who attended the Omaha reunion included (front, left to right) Ann Louise Denehy, Sandi Leinen, and Ann Town; and (rear) Norman Towne, Jim Dwinnell and Barry Cass (both also descendants of Jacob), Eric Leinen, Robert Town, and Virginia Peterson.

Grace Eaton Scott 1917--2010

Grace Eaton Noonan Scott, age 92, died in Danvers, MA, on June 22. She was the mother of TFA charter member Jean L. Towne. Born in Haverhill, MA, in 1917, Mrs. Scott was an artist as a young woman. She later received her degree in education from Lowell Normal School in 1939. After raising her family, Mrs. Scott dedicated her professional career to the ideals of public education at the Essex Elementary School in Essex, MA. She was married for 53 years to the late John Roger Scott. In addition to her daughter Jean, she is survived by her daughter Marjorie A. Gajeski and her son John R. Scott, Jr.; nine grandchildren, eleven greatgrandchildren, and nieces and nephews. Gifts in her memory may be made to the Radius Healthcare Activities Fund, 56 Liberty St., Danvers, MA 01923, or to the Alzheimer's Association, 311 Arsenal St., Watertown, MA 02472. More obituaries on next page.



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Thomas Charles Roome 1958--2010

Thomas C. Roome, age 52, of Victor, NY, died unexpectedly Sept. 24. Thomas was the son of longtime TFA members Marie and James Roome. He is survived by wife Cathy; sons Sean Hargraves and Michael Roome; his parents; siblings; and many other relatives. He was active in civic organizations and in his church in his home town of Victor. Gifts in Mr. Roome's memory may be sent to First Presbyterian Church, 70 E. Main St., Victor, NY 14564.

Sue Carson Omaha, NE Jacob Carol Anne Cruise Kingston, ON Jacob Heidi Glover Bedford, NH Edmund Jessica Scruggs Bristow, VA Rebecca

Joanne Cieslewicz Lombard, IL Sarah

Janet Crosby Kalamazoo, MI Edmund

John and Laurie Deredita Vickie Edgerton New London, CT Rochester, MN Jacob and Mary Jacob Marie Elena Haase Ely, IA Mary Douglas R. Smith La Habra, CA Rebecca (returning) Candice Kirkland Zion, IL Joseph Donna Torrey West Plains, MO Jacob

Douglas Henderson 1914--2010

Career Foreign Service officer and former ambassador Douglas Henderson, age 95, of Weston, MA, died of cancer July 14. Survivors include his wife, Marion; five children, Bruce, Jennifer, Karen, Mark, and TFA member Lee Henderson Martinez (Mrs. Oscar Martinez) of Falls Church, VA; a brother; six grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. Mr. Henderson was born in Newton, MA, in 1914 and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Boston University. He received a master's degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. He joined the Foreign Service and served in Mexico, Chile, Bolivia, Switzerland and Peru. On Nov. 19, 1963, he was sworn as ambassador to Bolivia by President John F. Kennedy. He was the first U.S. graduate of the Fletcher School to achieve the rank of ambassador. In memory of Mr. Henderson, gifts may be made to two organizations: Land's Sake at or at 27 Crescent St., Weston, MA 02493; or to the Weston Public Library, 87 School St., Weston, MA 02493.

Charles E. Towne Brecksville, OH Joseph (returning)

Marilyn Towne Lenexa, NE Jacob

Ann Heehn, Kristin Heehn Michaud and Suzanne Heehn Mele Snohomish, WA Rebecca William Chester Towne, Ed.D. Byfield, MA Jacob Marcelite Helen Ford Troeger Rancho Palos Verdes, CA Mary NEW LIFE MEMBER Linda Lee (Antram) Smith Bradenton, FL Mary



VOL. XXX No. 4

Towne Family Reunion in Salem: A Time for Celebration

By Sarah DiCicco Years ago, my father took our family to Salem. At that time I knew little about the Towne family and felt that my name, Sarah Margaret Towne, was quite dull, hardly romantic-sounding. Not like "Melissa" or "Charmaine." And "Towne"-- it just didn't have zing. I wandered into a bookstore and pulled down a volume on the history of Salem. Idly I flipped through the book, and a name jumped out. Mine. Sarah Towne. Hastily, I replaced the book on the shelf, and zoomed out of the shop to find my father. Words stumbling, I asked him, "Is Sarah Towne related to me?" He looked at me, gave me a hug, and said "yes." He went on to relate how the Towne family had come ashore in Salem harbor centuries before, when Salem was the important port for the Massachusetts Bay Colony. At that moment, Salem became part of me. I was no longer Sarah Margaret Towne, with the dried-up, unromantic name, a tourist taking in an exciting town. I was Sarah, whose family had breathed the same sea air, heard the same rustle of trees, and finally settled a little further inland, but still connected by a creek to Salem. Many years later, my mother, daughter, a family friend and I made a similar trip. Instead of summer, it was late fall. Unlike me, my daughter already knew about her ancestry. She embraced it as her own. We squeezed through the secret staircase at the Hawthorne House. We visited the Pilgrim Village. When the skies opened, we and the sheep sought shelter in the "Governor's House." We learned about carding wool, using a drop spindle, and discovered the remarkable mud that enmeshed our shoes in giant, globby cakes of goo. We wondered how our ancestors managed to stay warm, what they did to keep the mud blocks from snatching the shoes from their feet. We bought drop spindles and learned to spin wool. We felt connected. At the TFA reunion Julia met my first cousins once removed, Cousins Ella Mae Pero and Warren Towne. My father had died. But my daughter could see in her cousin Warren's face the tracing of her grandfather. During that weekend, he became her grandfather; Cousin Ella Mae the delightful repository of wonderful stories when she and my father were young. Is it so odd that my daughter feels at home in Massachusetts today? That most of the schools she visited were on the East Coast? This Pasadena, California girl is at home at Wellesley. She likens the seeming static geologic formations she studies to portals to the past, where one can fly through millennia and watch the continents collide. We experienced the same time and space collapse, as we walked along the beach at Plum Island on our way back from New Haven. Somehow we felt we had been there before. Now when I look back, I realize this simple truth. Within each of us is living history. We are the connection. We are a point in time between the past and future.

Continued on next page 80

ABOUT TOWNE Salem in 2011, continued from previous page

VOL. XXX No. 4

When Julia was asked to chair the 2011 Towne Family Reunion, she recalled her experience years ago and wished that everyone could share that same feeling of becoming one with the past, where time melts and we become one family. She remembered Salem and our stay at the Hawthorne Hotel. Where else can one enjoy having the whole town within walking distance or a short trolley ride away? It's an open door to discovery! We decided to hold the reunion during summer vacation, so families could make the reunion part of their vacation plans: a few days of family adventure, replete with activities designed to appeal to all our TFA family. The 31st Towne Family Reunion will be Saturday through Monday, Aug. 13-15, and will be headquartered at the Hawthorne Hotel in Salem. The hospitality room will open Saturday evening, and there will be a banquet Sunday evening. The business meeting will be at a Monday morning breakfast. Monday afternoon we will spend at the Nurse Homestead, where we will have a picnic box lunch. Additional activities are planned for the three days and will be announced in the next issue of About Towne.

children and their children's children their connection to living history: a personal encounter with the past in the present, complete with a family picnic on the grounds of the Rebecca Towne Nurse homestead! The Towne Family Reunion in 2011 is our coming together to share this moment in time, hear from afar the laughter and tears from across the centuries, and discover in each other the imprint of our shared ancestry.

Sarah DiCicco is a descendant of Edmund.

Historian's Corner, continued from page 67

mated and have their land assigned. A person might have a housing lot in Boston and a farm in a village out of town, or they could just have the farm. In either case, the main life was out in the villages while the larger political and theocratic battles mainly took place in Boston and other emerging towns, until 1692.

About Towne is always eager for your stories related to our Towne ancestors and their descendants. Sharing your documented findings, your searches and your experiences may help other Towne descendants with their genealogical work. Everyone is interested in information about our common ancestors! We are also interested in current news about TFA members and their families. We hope to share more items in the future as space allows. Let us know what you and your family members are doing!

Deadlines for future issues of About Towne: March issue--January 31 June issue--April 30 September issue--July 31

The vessel Friendship is part of the Salem Maritime National Historic Site, the nation's first National Historic Site.

December issue--October 31

Please submit your articles via e-mail if possible (it helps your editor meet those pesky printer's deadlines!) or by regular mail. If you don't know just how you might want to put your article together, contact About Towne (see how to reach us, page 64) and we'll try to help.

Though we are now planning this together, I share Julia's vision. This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance for grandparents to share with their



VOL. XXX No. 4

Towne family association, inc. 1400 Fones Rd. S.E., #7-101 Olympia, WA 98501

The Towne Family Association, Inc., celebrated 30 years of history at its annual reunion in Omaha in September 2010. See pages 70-71 and 77-78 of this issue of About Towne for photos from the reunion. Minutes from the business meeting start on the first page of this issue. The occasion caused some longtime members to contemplate names from the association's past. Past president Shirley Drury Patterson compiled this list of charter members from About Towne, Vols. I & II, according to the definition of "charter member," which means all persons who were members of record in 1981. Is your name on this list? If so, do you have thoughts about TFA's founding and history to share with newer members of the Towne Family Association? We'd love to hear from you!

Allen, Randall Ames, David Lee Ames, Gayle A. Ames, William B. Appleby, Josephine R. Baker, Larry R. Barton, Donald I. Baumback, Beatrice Bolene, Rosalie S. Bosley, Laura C. Brumfield, Katherine Butts, Dalene Canny, Maxine Clegg, Lindsay T. Cooper, John B. Courtenay, Karen R. Davis, Nellie M. Drew, Helen M. Evans, Gladys S. Finlay, Lydia R. Frost, Doris Raue Gary, Dan C., Jr. Gary, Grace D. Gary, Grace E. Gibbons, Althea M. Harding, Florence L. Haskell, Caroline E. Hoch, Merton R. Horgan, Alice D. Jewett, Edna P.

Johnson, Arthur S. Kalb, Iris F. Lane, Evelyn C. McNamara, Basil McNamara, Dorothy T. Mehrling, Mildred I. Moore, Donna Mosher, Carroll Mosher, Emma T. Nile, Abbott H. Nurse, Elwood Nurse, Howard L. Nutting, Leighton A. Ostwald, Patricia A. Perkins, Carolyn C. Pero, Ella Mae Towne Phillips, Bernice Pierce, Marcia Rixham, John W., Jr. Robinson, Roberta L. Rose, Ruth G. Schmitt, Elizabeth Schnell, Helen R. See, Mary E. Towne Sheley, Phebe B. L. Steele, Samuel R. Steidl, Margaret Taylor, Robert I. Thompson, Faye Tisdale, Myrtle R.


Towle, Marlene A. Towne, Alexandria N. Towne, Allen N. Towne, Arline S. Towne, Arthur J. Towne, Harold G. Towne, Herbert A. Towne, Jean L. Towne, Joanne L. Towne, Kenneth B. Towne, Krystene R. Towne, Lucy A. Towne, Norman J. Towne, Rebecca J. Towne, Richard E. Towne, Warren J. Towne, William B., Jr. Towne, William B., Sr. Towne, William L. Tuohy, Ann Tucker, Dorothy Van Woert, Floyd R. Watkins, Avis M. White, Marlene C. Whitman, Herbert S. Whitney, Eileen L. Williams, Muriel V. Yarwood, William R. Young, Phyllis


VOL. XXX No. 4

About Towne 83


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