COPYRIGHT Jan 1998
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|MISCELLANEOUS EARLY TROWBRIDGE NOTES|
HISTORY OF THE NAME TROWBRIDGE FROM ENGLAND TO AMERICA
Compiled by unknown descendant; ENGLAND
Trowbridge, the name in early records is variously spelled: Troubrugge, Trobrugge, Troubrigge, Troubryge, Troubbridge, Troubridge, Troberidge, Trobrydge, Trobreeg, Troobridg, Troblebridge, Trobblebridge, Throughbridge, Throwbridge, Trobruig, Trobridge, Trowbrydge, Sturbrigge, Sturbridge, Turbridge, Strobreidge, Strobridge, Strowbridge, Strawbridge, (the final "e" being omitted in many cases). The mode of spelling now generally adopted is Trowbridge.
Trowbridge has been used as a surname in England for many centuries, but the exact time that it was first so used is uncertain and the Authors of dictionaries of family surnames do not agree as to its derivation. Bardsley in his "Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames" states that the name was first given an individual on account of his residence at Trowbridge in Wiltshire. It may be said that this was its origin, and that a member of the family removed to Devon and gave the same name to his seat in that county, and it is also quite possible that some individuals in later times may have assumed the name of Trowbridge on account of a residence at Trowbridge.
EXTRACT FROM "EARLY ANNALS OF TROWBRIDGE
By Rev. W.H. Jones, 1875 Wiltshire, England
Trowbridge is a thriving market town situated on a rocky eminence rising from the valley of the river Biss, and in respect of population is the largest town in Wiltshire.
The parish of Trowbridge forms part of the hundred of Melksham. On the south side it adjoins the hundred of Wherwelsdown and on the west of that of Bradford-on-Avon. It consists of a strip of land some three miles long and on an average one mile broad, and contains in all 2,443 acres. It is divided into several tithings; on the north is that of Staverton; on the west that of Trowle; on the south that of Studley; and there is also the town Liberty. The town itself is situated, as nearly as may be, in the center of the whole parish.
No trace of history of Trowbridge is found until the end of the eleventh century, here we find it in the Domesday book, where it is called Straburg; a strange form of the name, but nevertheless pretty clearly identified with what we now call Trowbridge.
FROM WILTS DOMESDAY, P. 131
Brictric holds Straburg. His father held it in the time of King Edward and it paid geld for 10 hides. The land is 9 carucates. In demesne are 2 carucates and 7 serfs. There are 11 villans and 6 coscets with 7 carucates. There is a mill paying 10 shillings, and 10 acres of meadow and 12 acres of pasture. The wood is 5 furlongs long and 3 furlongs broad. It was worth 4 pounds; it is now worth 8 pounds. (carucates=unit of land measurement, varying from 60-160 acres) (geld=a tax or tribute) (demense=in feudal law, lands held in one's own power) (villans=a farm servant or farm hand)
RECORDS, RECORDED IN ENGLAND
In 1100 A.D., just thirteen years after the completion of the Domesday record, Trowbridge (Trobrege) and Staverton are recorded as being in the possession of Edward of Salisbury, a great Norman noble, who was VICE COMES, or sheriff of Wiltshire, and had no less than 38 manors in this county.
But though it had its castle, in these early days it was but a small and unimportant place. This is evident from the following facts. It is not mentioned among the towns in Wiltshire on which rates were levied in 1168 to marry the kings daughter to the Duke of Saxony, nor among those from which aid was taken in 1187 by the king's justices.
BARDSLEY'S DICTIONARY OF ENGLISH AND WELSH SURNAMES
The first syllable of the name Trowbridge is probably derived from the old English work TROUGH, TROGH or TROU and the Angl0-Saxon TROG or TROH, a natural trough or channel in a stream, and the second syllable from the old English work BRIGGE, BREGGE or BRUGGE and the Anglo-Saxon BRYCG or BRICG.
It is reasonable to suppose that the first individual who bore the name of Trowbridge was one who lived near a stream running swiftly in a well worn channel through the arches of a bridge. He may have got his name for some feat of daring at or near the bridge, or taken part in its defense. He may have received his coat of arms for valor while in command of the defense of the bridge in some engagement, and if so the color of the bridge in the arms would indicate that the conflict was a sanguinary one.
ENGLAND - THE TROWBRIDGE FAMILY
English records show that the Trowbridge family were long seated in the county of Devon (Devonshire), and it is said that the barton of Trowbridge in the parish of Crediton was in the possession of the family in the reign of Edward I.
It is supposed that a younger branch of the Devonshire family of Trowbridge settled in Somersetshire, and records relating to it have been found in that country.
From the Trowbridge family found residing in the city of Taunton, county of Somersetshire, about the middle of the sixteenth century comes the ancestor of the majority of the Trowbridges of America.
Taunton stands on the great road leading from Land's End in Cornwall to the north of England, lying between Exeter and Bridgewater, thirty-three miles northeast of the former and eleven miles south of the latter, the situation rendering it the thoroughfare from Bristol and Bath to Exeter and Plymouth. It has been noted for its manufacture of woolen goods and its trade may be traced back to the reign of Edward III, who first brought woolen manufactories to England. It was with this trade that the Trowbridges of Taunton were so identified.
THE DESCRIPTION OF TAUNTON FROM THE DOMESDAY BOOK
The Bishop of Winchester holds Taunton. Archbishop Stigand held it in the time of King Edward, and it paid geld for fifty-four hides and two yard-lands and a half, of which there was arable land enough for one hundred ploughs. Besides this the Bishop has in demense twenty carucates which never paid the geld and thirteen ploughs. There are eighty villans, eighty-two bordars, seventy bondmen or slaves, sixteen coliberti and seventeen swineherds, who render seven pounds, ten shillings, and amongst them all they have sixty ploughs. (swineherds=a tender of swine(pigs)) (bondmen=a male serf or slave, bound to serve without pay) (bordars=servants, owning land for personal use) (coliberti=former slaves, given small plots of land)
TERMS USED IN HERALDRY:
ARMES PARLANTES - indirect reference to the name of the bearer.
FESS - a wide horizontal band across the middle of an escutcheon.
ESCUTCHEON - a chield shaped surface.
GULES - the tincture red in a blazon without color, indicated by parallel vertical lines.
BLAZON - to describe or depict a coat of arms in technical detail.
MASONED SABLE - build of stone or brick, the color black.
PENNANT ARGENT - a long narrow flag, the color silver or white.
SANGUINARY - attended with bloodshed.
THE TROWBRIDG ARMS
The arms borne by the Trowbridge family are what are termed in heraldry, ARMES PARLANTES, because of their allusion to the name, the bridge and water running through. In the earliest heraldry whenever it was possible, the object chosen was one whose name bore sufficient resemblance in sound to suggest the name of the bearer of it. This characteristic of the Trowbridge arms is an evidence of their antiquity.
The description of the Trowbridge arns is, on a bridge of three arches embattled, in fess, gules, masoned sable, as many streams transfluent towards the base, proper, a thower of the second, there on a pennant argent.