Saturday, February 15, 2014

TOWLE of Hampton, New Hampshire

My original immigrant ancestor by that name was Philip TOWLE, who was born in Crediton, Devon, England, and who settled in Hampton, New Hampshire.

In Hampton, on 19 November 1657, Philip married Isabella AUSTIN, daughter of Francis AUSTIN and Isabella BLAND.

In 1680, Isabella Austin Towle was accused of witchcraft by a neighbor named Rachel Fuller, who had been accused of witchcraft herself (as in the Salem Witch trials, you would get mercy if you admitted that you were a witch and accused others-- brilliant system, eh?). Neighbors Isaac Marston and John Redman had to post bond for Isabella, and it would be a year before she and Rachel Fuller were freed.

I can imagine social events after this being pretty awkward:

"Hello, Goody Towle. Nice evening, isn't it?"

"Eat cow flops, Fuller."

The name TOWLE actually has Irish origins, and was originally TOOLE. There is also a company called Towle Silversmiths that makes beautiful tableware; it was formed in 1857 when Philip's descendant Anthony Francis Towle bought the business from Joseph Moulton, a 6th generation silversmith whose Moulton ancestry can also be traced to Hampton's first settlers.


Towle family stone in Founder's Park, Hampton, NH



Ancestry chain:

Philip TOWLE (1616-1696) m. Isabella AUSTIN

Caleb TOWLE I (1678-1765) m. Zipporah BRACKETT

Caleb TOWLE II (1701-1795) m. Rebecca PRESCOTT

Jeremy TOWLE (b. 1745) m. Mary SARGENT

Judith TOWLE (1784- aft 1864) m. Samuel SEVERANCE

Mary "Polly" SEVERANCE (1805-1889) m. William WINSLOW

James W. WINSLOW (1838-1906) m. Elizabeth A. MACE

Bessie Maud WINSLOW (1886-1970) m. Frank Bailey PALMER

Dorothy Elizabeth PALMER (1918-1984) m. Henry Richard HOWES

S. HOWES (1937-1999) m. my father 

Me (b. 1974)