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Derived From ... ?

Names change over time. And often this is caused by phonetic spelling and a change of place of residence. Here are a couple of unexplained surnames that may have been Townsley or Townley in earlier generations and in different regions of Britain.

Both involve the surname Tonsley in Northamptonshire. The first appears in the local parish records around 1800 ...

  • 1 Joseph Tonsley b: abt 1775 Northampton ? d: Aft. 1841
  • .. +Sarah x m: abt 1800 Northampton ? d: Bef. 1841
  • ... 2 William Tonsley b: 31 Oct 1802 Northampton
  • ... 2 Martha Tonsley b: 02 Dec 1803 Northampton
  • ... 2 Caleb Tonsley b: 14 Feb 1805 Northampton
  • ... 2 Rebecca Tonsley b: 06 Mar 1806 Northampton
  • ... 2 Jane Tonsley b: 20 Jul 1807 Northampton d: Aft. 1841
  • ... 2 Joseph Tonsley b: 12 Nov 1808 Northampton d: abt 1840 Northampton ?
  • ....... +Mary x b: abt 1809 Northampton ?
  • ......... 3 Joseph Tonsley b: abt Jan 1833 Northampton
  • ......... 3 Mary Ann Tonsley b: abt Dec 1834 Northampton
  • ... 2 David Tonsley aka: Tousley b: 24 Sep 1811 Northampton d: Mar 1883 Northampton
  • ....... +Sophia Hickson b: 1817 Northlands, Northamptonshire m: abt May 1838 Northampton d: Sep 1890 Northampton
  • ......... 3 Emma Tonsley b: 1839 Northlands, Northamptonshire d: Aft. 1851
  • ......... 3 Josiah Rechab Tonsley b: abt May 1841 Northamptonshire d: Jun 1898 St George in The East, London
  • ............. +Mary Coe b: 1840 Piddington, Northamptonshire m: abt Aug 1862 Northampton d: Aft. 1891
  • ............... 4 Ada Emily Tonsley b: abt Feb 1865 Northampton d: Aft. 1911
  • ................... +William Wayne b: 1860 Northampton m: abt May 1883 Northampton
  • .................... 5 Florence M Wayne b: 1886 Northampton
  • .................... 5 Cecil W Wayne b: 1890 Northampton
  • .................... 5 Inez Mary C Wayne b: abt Nov 1894 Northampton
  • ........................ +Charles A Cooper m: abt May 1914 Marylebone, London
  • ............... 4 Albert George Tonsley b: abt Nov 1867 Northampton d: Sep 1950 Bournemouth, Hampshire
  • ................... +Theresa Robinson m: abt May 1890 Leicester, Leicestershire
  • ............... 4 Florence Emma Tonsley b: abt Nov 1869 Northampton
  • ............... 4 Kate Tonsley b: abt Aug 1873 Northampton
  • ............... 4 Alice Maud Tonsley b: 1878 Piddington, Northamptonshire
  • ............... 4 Charles Konow Tonsley b: abt May 1882 Piddington, Northamptonshire d: Mar 1960 Rochford, Essex
  • ................... +Elizabeth M K Hartgen b: abt 1885 m: abt Aug 1910 Whitechapel, London
  • .................... 5 Douglas C Tonsley b: abt Feb 1913 Islington, London
  • .................... 5 Elsie M Tonsley b: abt Feb 1916 Islington, London
  • .................... 5 Reginald F Tonsley b: abt May 1918 Islington, London
  • .................... 5 Charles F Tonsley b: abt Aug 1922 Islington, London
  • .................... 5 Francis G Tonsley b: abt Nov 1925 Rochford, Essex
  • ......... 3 Anna Sophia Tonsley b: 1843 Northamptonshire
  • ............. +William Billingham b: 1846 Kislingbury, Northamptonshire m: abt Aug 1866 Northampton
  • ............... 4 Walter Ernest Billingham b: 1870 Northampton d: Dec 1958 Northampton
  • ............... 4 Edgar William Billingham b: 1875 Northampton d: Dec 1920 Northampton
  • ............... 4 Eleanor Sophia Billingham b: 1879 Northampton d: Sep 1945 Northampton
  • ......... 3 Sarah Tear Tonsley aka: Sarah Sear Tousley b: abt Feb 1845 Northampton d: Sep 1895 Towcester, Northamptonshire
  • ............. +William Hickson b: 1847 Blisworth, Northamptonshire m: abt May 1868 Towcester, Northamptonshire
  • ............... 4 Kate E Hickson b: 1869 Northampton
  • ............... 4 Francis F Hickson b: 1871 Northampton
  • ............... 4 Florence S Hickson b: 1874 Northamptonshire
  • ......... 3 Eliza Tonsley b: 1847 Northamptonshire d: Aft. 1851
  • ......... 3 Mary Tonsley b: abt Aug 1850 Daventry, Northamptonshire
  • ......... 3 Louisa Jane Tonsley b: abt Aug 1854 Northamptonshire
  • ............. +x m: abt Nov 1876 Northampton
  • ......... 3 Francis Tonsley aka: Tinsley b: abt Aug 1857 Northamptonshire d: Sep 1908 Northampton
  • ............. +Sarah Ann Woolgrove b: 1859 South Newington, Oxfordshire m: abt Nov 1878 Banbury d: Mar 1940 Northampton
  • ............... 4 Elsie Emma Tonsley aka: Tinsley b: abt Feb 1879 Northampton d: Mar 1961 Brixworth, Northamptonshire
  • ................... +Walter Herbert Felce m: abt Nov 1901 Northampton
  • ............... 4 Gertrude Mary Tonsley aka: Tinsley b: abt May 1880 Northampton d: Aft. 1911
  • ............... 4 Annie Maria Tonsley b: abt Aug 1882 Northampton
  • ................... +x m: abt May 1904 Northampton
  • ............... 4 Francis Woolgrove Tonsley b: abt Feb 1884 Northampton d: Mar 1884 Northampton
  • ............... 4 Dora Tonsley b: abt Aug 1885 Northampton
  • ................... +Richard E Heath m: abt Nov 1913 Northampton
  • .................... 5 Joyce E Heath b: abt Feb 1917 Stafford
  • ............... 4 Ida Emily Tonsley aka: Tousley b: abt May 1887 Northampton d: Aft. 1911
  • ................... +William J E Browning m: abt May 1915 Northampton
  • ............... 4 Phyllis Marjorie Tonsley b: abt Nov 1896 Northampton
  • ................... +Percival C Williams m: abt Nov 1919 Northampton
  • ... 2 John Tonsley b: 07 Sep 1814 Northampton
  • ....... +Elizabeth Yeomans b: 1819 Rothwell, Northamptonshire m: abt Aug 1840 Northampton
  • ......... 3 Caroline Tonsley b: 1842 Northampton
  • ......... 3 Emma Tonsley b: abt Feb 1845 Northampton
  • ......... 3 John Tonsley b: 1847 Northampton
  • ......... 3 Ellen Tonsley b: abt Feb 1849 Northampton d: Aft. 1871
  • ......... 3 Eli Tonsley b: abt Aug 1850 Northampton d: Mar 1910 Northampton
  • ............. +Sarah Jane Anderton b: 1851 Northampton m: abt May 1870 Northampton d: Jun 1890 Northampton
  • ............... 4 Emily Kate Tonsley b: abt Aug 1870 Northampton d: Dec 1921 Northampton
  • ................... +William Kinch m: abt May 1891 Northampton
  • ............... 4 William Eli Tonsley b: abt Aug 1872 Northampton d: Dec 1950 Northampton
  • ................... +Maria Bradshaw b: 1870 Long Buckby, Northamptonshire m: abt Nov 1891 Daventry d: Sep 1910 Northampton
  • .................... 5 Ethel May Tonsley b: abt May 1894 Northampton
  • ........................ +Alfred Judkins m: abt Aug 1915 Northampton
  • .......................... 6 Alfred W Judkins b: abt Nov 1915 Northampton
  • .......................... 6 Denis J Judkins b: abt Nov 1924 Northampton
  • .................... 5 Gladys Ada Tonsley b: abt Aug 1900 Northampton d: Sep 1916 Northampton
  • ............... *2nd Wife of William Eli Tonsley: 
  • ................... +Lily E McAllister m: abt Nov 1918 Northampton
  • ............... 4 Sarah Jane Tonsley b: abt May 1874 Northampton
  • ................... +x m: abt May 1898 Northampton
  • ............... 4 Ada Elizabeth Tonsley b: abt Aug 1878 Northampton d: Sep 1900 Northampton
  • ................... +Charles Henry Dilley b: abt May 1877 Wellingborough m: abt May 1897 Wellingborough
  • ............... 4 Francis Tonsley b: 1883 Northamptonshire
  • ................... +Florence May Roberts b: 1883 Gloucestershire m: abt Aug 1904 Northampton
  • ......... 3 Kate Tonsley b: 1852 Northampton
  • ......... 3 Rebecca Tonsley b: abt Aug 1854 Northampton
  • ............. +x m: abt Aug 1876 Northampton
  • ......... 3 Jacob Tonsley aka: Tousley b: 1856 Northampton d: Sep 1921 Northampton
  • ............. +Mary Ann Catherine Pollard b: 1857 Wollaston, Northamptonshire m: abt Nov 1875 Northampton d: Mar 1931 Northampton
  • ............... 4 Arthur Tonsley aka: Tousley b: abt Nov 1883 Northampton d: Mar 1957 Birmingham
  • ................... +Florence A Rickard m: abt Feb 1911 Northampton
  • .................... 5 Arthur Tonsley b: abt May 1912 Northampton
  • ............... 4 Ethel Tonsley b: abt May 1888 Northampton
  • ............... 4 Richard Tonsley aka: Tousley b: abt Aug 1890 Northampton
  • ............... 4 Mabel Tonsley b: abt Aug 1892 Northampton
  • ............... 4 Ralph Tonsley b: abt Aug 1897 Northampton d: Jun 1954 Northampton
  • ......... 3 John Tonsley b: 1858 Northampton
  • ... 2 Sarah Ann Tonsley b: 12 Jun 1818 Northampton

The second makes the sudden jump from Kent to Northampton by 1839. However the head of the tree seems to be a Thomas who was initially recorded as both Tannesley and Tunnesley in 1799 in Kent. Could this be the Thomas Townsley that was born around 1768 in Cumberland? Would his northern accent, lack of writing skills and an absence of any local Kent Townsleys explain his change of surname in the parish records?

  • 1 Thomas Tonsley aka: Tunsley / Tannesley / Tunnesley b: abt 1775 Kent ? d: Dec 1841 Northampton
  • .. +Sarah Metham b: abt 1777 Herne Bay, Kent m: 05 Mar 1799 Wickhambreux, Kent d: 1811 Herne Bay, Kent
  • ... 2 Charity Tonsley b: abt Aug 1801 Herne, Kent d: Sep 1856 Herne, Kent
  • ....... +Thomas Spratt m: 11 Dec 1820 Swalecliffe, Kent
  • ......... 3 Sarah Ann Tonsley b: abt May 1819 Herne, Kent
  • ......... 3 Maria Spratt b: abt Jan 1823 Herne, Kent
  • ......... 3 George Spratt b: abt Jan 1825 Herne, Kent
  • ......... 3 Martha Anne Spratt b: 04 Oct 1836 Herne, Kent
  • ... 2 Thomas Tunsley b: abt 1805 Herne, Kent d: 1876
  • ... 2 John Tunsley b: abt Jul 1807 Herne, Kent d: 1809
  • ... 2 Charlotte Tonsley aka: Tunley b: abt Feb 1810 Herne, Kent
  • ....... +James Poole m: 01 Jun 1830 Herne, Kent
  • ......... 3 Charlotte Poole b: abt 1831 d: May 1832 Herne, Kent
  • ......... 3 James Poole d: Aft. 1841
  • ......... 3 William Poole d: Aft. 1841
  • *2nd Wife of Thomas Tonsley:
  • .. +Elizabeth x b: 1776 Herne Bay, Kent m: abt 1812 d: Aft. 1851
  • ... 2 William Tonsley b: 1813 Herne Bay, Kent d: Mar 1872 Northampton
  • ....... +Jane x b: 1814 Wellington, Northamptonshire d: Aft. 1871
  • ......... 3 Esther Tonsley aka: Tousley b: abt Aug 1839 Wellington, Northamptonshire
  • ............. +x m: abt May 1857 Northampton
  • ......... 3 George Tonsley b: 1841 Northampton
  • ......... 3 John William Tonsley b: abt Nov 1842 Wellington, Northamptonshire d: Bef. 1881
  • ............. +Elizabeth x b: 1841 Banbury, Oxfordshire d: Aft. 1881
  • ............... 4 Elizabeth Emma Tonsley b: 1864 Birmingham
  • ................... +x m: abt May 1884 Northampton
  • ............... 4 Henrietta Tonsley b: abt May 1866 Birmingham
  • ................... +x m: abt May 1887 Northampton
  • ............... 4 Sarah Ann Jane Tonsley b: abt Aug 1868 Northampton
  • ............... 4 Clara Earl Tonsley aka: Tousley b: abt Feb 1871 Northampton d: Mar 1954 Northampton
  • ................... +Arthur Hughes b: 1871 Northamptonshire m: abt Feb 1894 Northampton
  • .................... 5 Winifred Hughes b: 1898 Northamptonshire
  • .................... 5 Edgar Hughes b: 1900 Northamptonshire
  • ............... 4 John Thomas William Tonsley b: abt Nov 1873 Northampton d: Jun 1898 Northampton
  • ................... +x m: abt May 1895 Northampton
  • ............... 4 Lilly Tonsley b: 1877 Northampton
  • ............... 4 William Tonsley b: 1879 Northampton
  • ......... 3 Jane Tonsley b: abt Nov 1843 Wellington, Northamptonshire d: Aft. 1851
  • ......... 3 William George Tonsley b: abt Feb 1846 Wellington, Northamptonshire d: Aft. 1871

Was there a family connection to explain why two families called Tonsley both came to settle in Northamptonshire when there are so few Tonsleys elsewhere in Britain?

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