Origin of the Name Townsend
family history was found in the allfamilycrests.com archives. Townsend is a locational name for somebody who lived at the extremity of a village or town. Variants of this name include Townshend, Townend and Townen. This name is of Anglo-Saxon descent spreading to the Celtic countries of Ireland, Scotland and Wales in early times and is found in many mediaeval manuscripts throughout these countries. Examples of such are a Geoffrey de la Tuneshende of County Norfolk, a Henry atte Tunesende of County Oxfordshire and an Alice atte Tunishende of County Buckinghamshire, who were all recorded in the 'Hundred Rolls', England, in the year 1273.
Names were recorded in these ancient documents to make it easier for their overlords to collect taxes and to keep records of the population at any given time. When the overlords acquired land by either force or gifts from their rulers, they created charters of ownership for themselves and their vassals. It was by creating, maintaining and updating these reference books that they were able to maintain their authority and enforce laws.
In Ireland this name and its variants were introduced into Ulster Province by settlers who arrived from England and Scotland, especially during the seventeenth century. It was the 'Plantations of Ireland' in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries that marked the end of Gaelic supremacy in Ireland. While the influx of settlers in the wake of the earlier Anglo-Norman invasion of the twelfth century resulted in a full integration into Irish society of the new arrivals, the same never occurred with the Ulster Planters who maintained their own distinct identity.
These names are also very associated with County Cork.
The Townsend coat of arms came into existence centuries ago. The process of creating coats of arms (also often called family crests) began in the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this. The new art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own coat of arms, including all Townsend descendants.