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John Towne

Birthplace: St. Nicholas Church, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England, (Present UK)
Death: Died in Massachusetts Bay Colony, (Present USA)
Immediate Family:

Son of William Towne and Joanna Towne
Husband of Mary Towne and Phebe Towne
Father of James Townes and William Towne
Brother of Rebecca Nurse; Susanna Towne; Edmund Towne; Jacob Towne; Mary Estey (Towne) and 2 others

Managed by: Susan Kathleen Cameron
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

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John Towne's Timeline

February 16, 1622
Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England, (Present UK)
February 16, 1623
Age 1
Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England
February 16, 1624
Age 2
St. Nicholas Parish Church, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, Eng.
February 16, 1624
Age 2
Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England
February 16, 1624
Age 2
Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England
February 16, 1624
Age 2
St. Nicholas Par, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, Eng.
February 16, 1624
Age 2
St. Nicholas Parish, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England
February 16, 1624
Age 2
St. Nicholas Parish, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England
April 18, 1637
Age 15
Great Yarmouth, Norfolk County, England, (Present UK)

According to Rebecca Towne's Familypedia page (submitted by "Main Tour"):

Rebecca Towne's family departed England on the ship "Rose of Yarmouth" in April 1637, and says that the exact date of the ship's departure is uncertain.
According to "Genealogical and Family History of the State of Vermont"

Fellow passenger John Cutler, emigrating from Sprowston in Norfolk, embarked on the Rose of Yarmouth on April 18, 1637. By June 10, he had a lot assigned to him in Hingham, Massachusetts Bay Colony.
A transcription of a small parchment volume containing the passenger list for the John & Dorothy of Ispwich and The Rose of Yarmouth, 1637, was posted by Laura Freeman:

The apparently partial list shows embarkations on April 8, 11, 12, and 13. The name Towne shows up on the list in one instance, with respect to the apprenticeship of an Edmund Towne to Henry Skerry:

Aprill 11th 1637
Skerry Henry Great Yarmouth, Co. of Norff. Cordwaynar 31 New England to Inhabitt.
Skerry Elizabeth wife 25 New England to Inhabitt.
Skerry Henry child New England to Inhabitt.
Towne Edmoun apprentice 18 New England to Inhabitt.

According to the Towne Family Association, this is not the same Edmund associated with William Towne's family. From a forum entry on 3 September 2007:

In 2006 it was determined Edmund Towne, son of William, was not apprenticed to Henry Skerry. There is no apprenticeship found in England by a professional researcher hired by Towne Family Association. The age of the Edmund Towne who boarded the ship with Skerry was much older than William's son Edmund. The original book has been viewed to determine if the age reported in the History of Salem and other publications is correct. The age entered in the boarding book is the age published. Because there was only one Edmund Towne in Salem/Topsfield, it has been determined the Edmund who left England with Skerry must have died on the trip over.

I believe Henry Skerry was a cordwainer. Check the History of Salem, MA by Sidney Perley.

Lois Payne Hoover
Genealogist - Towne Family Association, Inc.
Again this was the only Towne on the surviving portions of the registry; William Towne's family does not appear elsewhere in this list. The closest variation of the Towne family name seems to be Dowe (Dowe Henry Ormsby 29, and wife Joan 30, plus four children), but the match is not really all that close (William Towne would have been 39, and his wife Joan 43). It should be noted that married names for females are used in the source document (further, there are no "Blessings" in the surviving portions of the list).

The transcription shows that at least 9 pages are torn in the original:

A small parchment volume (also in the Rolls Office) labelled on the cover "T G 27.299 A. D, 1637---13 Car. I" is occupied with a record of persons"desirous to pass beyond seas." Its upper right hand corner has been destroyed, by which much of the record is gone. What is not destroyed of the title of the volume is "A Register of the ... of such persons a ... and upwards and have ... to passe into formigne partes ... March 1637 to the 29th day of Septe... by verts of a commission granted to Mr Thomas Mayhew gentleman."

" These people went to New England with William Andrews of Ipswich, Mr of the John and Dorothay of Ipswich, and with William Andrewes his Sons Mr of the Rose of Yarmouth."
From "More Gleanings for New England History" published by the Massachusetts Historical Society:

Michill Metcalfe of Norwich, a dornock weaver aged 45, later wrote that the ship sailed from Yarmouth on April 15, and disembarked his family (wife Sarah and 9 children) at Boston (footnote, page 96).
To confuse the matter further, according to R.J.O'Hara's New England Immigrant Ancestors:

Hotten lists the ships as having passengers examined at Ipswich, instead of Yarmouth (April 8-15, same dates as the Massachusetts Historical Society).


Hotten, John Camden. 1874. The Original Lists of Persons of Quality; Emigrants; Religious Exiles; Political Rebels; Serving Men Sold for a Term of Years; Apprentices; Children Stolen; Maidens Pressed; and Others who went from Great Britain to the American Plantations 1600–1700. London. [Reprinted Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1974.]
Likely, the ships departed from their respective home ports (purely speculation, as this hasn't been documented).

June 20, 1637
Age 15
Boston, Massachusetts Bay Colony, (Present USA)

Different dates are given for the arrival of the Rose of Yarmouth in Boston, ranging from June 8 to 20 (again, fellow passenger John Cutler is recorded as having a lot assigned him in Hingham, a town next to Weymouth south of Boston, on June 10). More than one port of arrival may have been used as well (Governor Winthrop's journal, according to the book "More Gleanings for New England History", notes arrival in Boston on June 20). The route of travel for the Rose and its sister ship "John and Dorothy of Ipswich" within Massachusetts Bay is unknown.

According to information from the Towne Family Memorial information pamphlet:

William Towne, Rebecca's father, became a freeman on 18 April (second month, OS) 1637, saying that he appeared before the General Court (this would have been on a Tuesday; General Courts did convene on Tuesdays once a month) and took "the requisite oath to become a freeman, or voter." This would be difficult, though, if he were aboard ship and still in English waters. Court of Assistants meetings that took place around the arrival of the ship include June 6 and September 19 (OS).

(Ben M. Angel notes: Possibly this was the date of his oath of allegiance before leaving England? If so, this would mean that the Towne family would have been among the last to board, and certainly act as proof that the ship left on April 18 rather than April 15. But this is speculation given lack of reliable documentation.)