A Trowbridge Ancestral History

Trowbridge COA

Introduction to Trowbridge History

This is a history of my direct-line Trowbridge ancestors whom I have been able to locate. This does not cover the many cousins, uncles and aunts that are associated in a long lineage but only those I am a direct descendant of and their siblings.

The material presented here was gleaned from several sources. The main source for any Trowbridge genealogy has to be a book known as the "Trowbridge Bible." This "bible" is officially known as The Trowbridge Genealogy; by Francis Bacon Trowbridge, published in 1908. F.B. Trowbridge was a noted genealogist and was President of the prestigious New England Historical Genealogical Society (NEHGS) at the turn of the 20th century. In addition to the FBT bible, I also utilized a reference named Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists Who Came to America before 1700 - by Weis, seventh edition, 1993. Ancestral Roots also traces lineage back past the Trowbridges by following other lines through marriages. Those paths lead to some famous names such as Charles the Great (Charlemagne), King of France (768-814) and Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire (800-814), and also Alfred the Great, the Saxon King of England from 871 to 899 A.D. The Trowbridge's also have an extensive Viking lineage through the infamous "Rollo the Viking" . Clicking on these preceding links will take you to view the lineage from Thomas Trowbridge, the first Trowbridge to come to America, to our ancient royal ancestors.
But first, let us review Trowbridge History and the lineage from Thomas Trowbridge, born 1482 down to Arthur D. Steele, Jr. born 1930. All of my relatives can then see where they fit into the Trowbridge lineage.

The orgin of the Trowbridge name

The origin of the name Trowbridge is uncertain. Eldon C. Smith in 'SURNAMES OF AMERICA' says that the surnames prefix "TROW" comes from an old English word meaning tree and therefore the name has to do with a tree fallen over a stream and used as a bridge. Francis Bacon Trowbridge, in his genealogy of the Trowbridge family, says it comes from another word meaning a trough or a channel of a stream. He thinks the first Trowbridge probably lived near a bridge with a well-worn channel flowing through its arches. He may have received his coat of arms for some deed of valor near the bridge or during a defense of the bridge. He thinks this may account for the red coloring of the bridge in the family crest.

Where from?

Where the family came from in England is better known. There is a town called Trowbridge in Wiltshire, which had its own castle and village as early as the middle of the twelfth century. There is mention of one John Troubrigge (or Trowbridge?) in the early records there. It is supposed that a member of the family moved to Devonshire in the thirteenth century. Chapman in his genealogy of the Trowbridge family says, "The very ancient name of Trowbridge derives its name from its inheritance in the Parish of Crittendon, Devon where it has resided for many centuries and was the property of Peter de Trowbridge in the reign of Edward The First. Edward I reined in the thirteenth century (1272 to 1307). A younger branch of the family moved to Taunton, Somersetshire, a neighboring shire, near 1550.

Thomas Trowbridge b 1482
The earliest Trowbridge that I can account for, thus far, is that of Thomas, born about 1482 in Brushford, Somersetshire, England. His wife was Ann (surname unknown) and they were married about 1510 in Brushford. Thomas died in 1525 in Taunton, Somersetshire. There are a number of John and Thomas' in the Trowbridge family and sometimes I may identify them by attaching their date of birth to their name, i.e. Thomas b. 1542.
Thomas b. 1482 and Ann Trowbridge had but one known child: John. My ancestor is John Trowbridge b. 1512.

John Trowbridge b 1512
John Trowbridge, born 1512 in Shalford, Essex, England, was married about 1537 to Alice (surname unknown) in Brushford, Somersetshire. He died about 1545 in Taunton, Somersetshire. John and Alice Trowbridge had but one known child, Thomas.
My ancestor is Thomas b. 1542.

Thomas Trowbridge b 1542
Thomas Trowbridge, born 1542 in Taunton, Somersetshire, England, married Joan Hutchins Lawrence (Laurence) about 1569 in Somersetshire. Joan was born about 1546 in Taunton, Somersetshire and was the daughter of John Lawrence and Alice Hutchins. Thomas Trowbridge was a prominent merchant in TAUNTON and operated a store for the sale of woolen cloth and other goods at No. 15 Fore Street, Taunton. He leased the store for 99 years from the Portman family and was responsible for the maintenance of the building. He remodeled it in about 1578 and carved the date, 1578, on a board, together with his initials, TT, on one side of the date and his wife's initials, JT, on the other. This sign (or a replica) is still hanging (1997) over the second story window in the front of the store. Thomas operated the store until about 1606, stating at this time that he had operated it for 30 years. The store is currently operated as a Pub, known as the TUDOR TAVERN.
J&T initials
Thomas Trowbridge's initials (TT)and Joan Trowbridge's initials (JT)
On a board on the front of the Tavern above the second story windows.

15 Fore Street
Taunton, Somersetshire, England
Photo taken in 1994 by Frank Trowbridge

Thomas is still remembered in Taunton as a result of a charity that he created in December 1614. This charity gave a parcel of about eight acres of land in West Monkton to God for "the residue of 1,000 years." The rent on this land, to be administered by a rotating group of four trustees, consisting of the most prominent and honest men of Taunton, was to be distributed to the poor of the parishes of ST. JAMES' and ST. MARY MAGDALEN Churches, Taunton, on his Saint's Day (St. Thomas Day), December 21st. The money was still being distributed in 1994 when Frank Trowbridge of Macon, Georgia visited St. Mary Magdalene Church and inquired about it.
There is a very nice plaque hanging in the vestibule of St. Mary Magdalene church, which briefly describes this Charitable Gift. It was the first charity of this nature to be established in Taunton.
Two appendices to this document describing Thomas' business and his charity grant are: Appendix I: "EXTRACT FROM THE SOMERSET ARCHAELOGICAL AND NATURAL HISTORY SOCIETY, VOL. 119 (1975)" Appendix II: "TROWBRIDGE CHARITY Pg. 341, TROWBRIDGE Family; by F.W. Chapman. 461p. 1872."
Thomas died 20 Feb. 1919 in Taunton, Somersetshire and his wife Joan is recorded as dying on the same day as Thomas.
Thomas and Joan Trowbridge had three children: Alice, Dorothy and John.
My ancestor is John Trowbridge b 1570.

John Trowbridge b 1570
John Trowbridge was born 25 March 1570 in Taunton, Somersetshire, England. John died 5 July 1649 in Taunton at age 79. He married Agnes (Annis) Prowse on 31 July 1597 in St. Peter's, Tiverton, Devonshire, England. Agnes Prowse was born in Tiverton on 15 April 1575 and was buried on 6 June 1622.

John was the sole son and heir at his father's death in 1619 and served Taunton as Mayor & Magistrate 1629 & 1637, and also as warden of St. Mary Magdalen, constable & portreve of Taunton castle manor. John Trowbridge was even more prominent than his father was. He was a wool merchant and had a shop next to his father on Fore Street. Monies collected in 1611 for the relief of plague victims at Minehead and Dunster were brought to his house, and in 1625 he supervised the repair of the Taunton House of Correction, and provided a field at West Monkton for tents to quarantine travelers suspected of bringing the plague from London to Taunton. He was regularly churchwarden of St. Mary Magdalen, twice mayor of Taunton (1629-30 and 1637-8), traded with London and Bristol, and apart from lands in the vicinity of Taunton, also held property in Strogursey and Cannington. He also arranged commercially important marriages for his children. His son John married the daughter of a Lyme Regis merchant, his son Thomas wedded the daughter of John Marshall, successively sheriff and mayor of Exeter, and his daughters were married to other merchants of both Taunton and Exeter.
One appendix is attached that contains John's will:

John's wife, Agnes Prowse (also spelled Prouse) was also from well to do merchants and through the Prowse family it is possible to trace my ancestry back to Alfred the Great, Cerdic the Saxon, Rollo the Viking and Charlemagne the Holy Roman Emperor.
John and Agnes Prowse Trowbridge had nine children. They were: Thomas, Elizabeth, John, Prudence, Agnes, William, James, Joan and Tacy. John married a second time on 11 Mar. 1623/4 to Alice Reed of Tiverton. There was no issue from that marriage.
My ancestor was Thomas b 1598.

Thomas Trowbridge b 1598
The First Trowbridge to come to America!

Thomas Trowbridge, John's oldest son, was to become know as “The first Trowbridge to come to America.” He was born on 8 February 1598 in Taunton, Somersetshire, England. Thomas married Elizabeth Marshall on 20 December 1624 in St. Mary's Arches, Exeter, Devonshire, England. He was named in his father John's nuncupative will I July 1649 as "eldest son" when he moved from Taunton to Exeter, where he was fined for freeman £12. In his own parish of St. Petrocks were born to him:
6 Mar. 1627 - Elizabeth;
5 Nov. 1629 - John;
11 Dec. 1631 - Thomas;
3 Sep. 1633 - William.
The child Elizabeth died young. John, the son & heir, remained in England and died 1653: local will, naming John Maiming of New England, merchant, Wm. Davis of Muskeeta, Newfoundland, implied that he had sailed the sea with father (vide Trowbridge Family). Sons Thomas (Jr.) and William immigrated with their parents to Dorchester, Massachusetts, where James Trowbridge was born in 1636.
As a young man, Thomas Trowbridge settled in Exeter where he became a member of the powerful Merchants and Adventurer's Guild. His wife Elizabeth's father, John Marshall, was Sheriff, Alderman and Mayor of Exeter and Elizabeth's grandfather, Richard Bevys (Beavis), was Mayor of Exeter from 1600 - 1603 when he died in office. John Marshall, in addition to his political offices, was a successful merchant. It was probably through his connections that Thomas was able to gain entrance to this Guild.

When he immigrated to America, he was working as a merchant and was therefore not one of the Puritans in the settlement at Dorchester, MA. He sided with those who were dissatisfied with conditions at Dorchester and moved with them in 1639 to the New Haven Colony. He appeared to have spent very little time in New Haven, making several voyages to Barbados and England in pursuit of his business. His wife Elizabeth died in about 1640, possibly while he was away. He never returned to New Haven but returned to Taunton where he got caught up in the English Civil War of 1645. He served as a Captain in the Parliamentary troops, Cromwell's army, serving under Colonel Blake in the defence of Taunton. Later, he supported a wounded soldier's pension claim at Taunton Court of Sessions. He later married his first cousin, widow Frances Shattuck, daughter of his aunt Dorothy Trowbridge.

During his many absences from New Haven he left his family under the care of his steward, Henry Gibbons, who appeared to be an unfaithful servant who seized Thomas' property and deserted the three boys. Town records show where the boys were declared wards of the Colony and Sergeant Thomas Jeffries took them into his home to rear and educate. Thomas corresponded with his sons and when they became of age, he gave them power of attorney to regain his property from Gibbons. He gave his New England sons power of attorney for property there 14 Jan. 1664. The sons were successful in reclaiming their father's estate, which he gave them on a share and share alike basis. Thomas and his sons traded to the Azores from both sides of the Atlantic. Thomas Trowbridge was buried at St. Mary Magdalen Church, Taunton, Somerset, 7 Feb. 1672.
I am descended from Thomas' son William Trowbridge.

William Trowbridge
William Trowbridge was born 3 September 1633 in Exeter, Devonshire, England. William married Elizabeth Lamberton on 9 March 1656 in Milford, Connecticut. Elizabeth was born in 1630 in London, England and was the daughter of Captain George Lamberton and Margaret Lewin. George Lamberton was Master of the “Phantom Ship” in a poem by that name by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. A verse from this poem reads:

But Master Lamberton muttered,
And under his breath said he,
"This ship is so crank and walty,
I fear our grave she will be!"

George Lamberton died at sea in 1646 on the Phantom Ship, which disappeared on its maiden voyage. The complete poem is in Appendix V at the end of this document.
William Trowbridge is usually described in the public records of that time as a "planter," and later on as a "husbandman." In 1664 he appears to have been master of the sloop "Cocke", making voyages out of New Haven.
William and Elizabeth had ten children, William, Thomas, Elizabeth, James, Margaret, Hannah, Abigail, Samuel, Mary and Joseph.
James is my ancestor.

Deacon James Trowbridge
Deacon James Trowbridge was born on 26 March 1664 in New Haven, Connecticut. James married his second wife, Esther Howe, on 29 September 1692. Esther was born 18 November 1771 in New Haven, Connecticut. James and Esther had three children. Issac Trowbridge was my ancestor born of this marriage. James also had two other wives. His first wife was Lydia Alsop, born 26 July 1665, died 6m May 1690. James and Lydia were married on 8 November 1688 and had one child, James. His third wife was Mary Belden, born 17 November 1677. James and Mary were married on 18 April 1698 and had seven children.
James Trowbridge learned the trade of a "cord wainer" (shoemaker) in his native town and followed it in New Haven and also in Stratford, CT, whither he removed in September 1693. He and his wife were admitted members of the Stratford Congregational church April 8, 1694. In Stratford he was chosen sealer of leather at the town meetings held from 1698 to 1702. He lived on Long Hill. In 1712 he removed to the town of Norwalk, CT, purchasing a large farm on Chestnut Hill in the parish of Wilton. He there passed the remainder of his life, engaged in farming. He was probably one of the three original members of the Wilton Congregational church, and was appointed a committee to make arrangements for the settlement of the Rev. Mr. Sturgeon. He was appointed a deacon of the church, an office he filled until his death. In the town of Norwalk he served as fence viewer in 1717, grand juror in 1719 and town collector in 1721.
James and Esther had three children. They were Issac, Esther and Mary.
Issac is my ancestor.

Issac Trowbridge
Issac Trowbridge was born in 1693 in Stratford, Connecticut. He married Ruth Perry in 1717. Issac died 1770 in Southbury, Connecticut. Ruth Perry was born 5 May 1690 in Stratford, Connecticut and died 27 January 1767 in Oxford, Connecticut.
Issac Trowbridge received a grant of land from his father at the north end of Long Hill in Stratford, and settled there after his marriage. He conducted a tannery in Stratford for a number of years. On January 28, 1719-20, he was appointed with Col. Ebenezer Johnson of Derby a committee to run a line between the town and the Indians. The following year he removed to the parish of Ripton (Huntington), where he and his wife were among those who organized the Congregational church in that parish on February 12, 1724. He was elected a grand juror of Stratford in December 1732. He removed to the adjoining township of Derby, and lived in that part now the town of Oxford, "the southwest part of Waterbury woods." In May 1740, he was a petitioner for the setting apart of Oxford as a separate parish. The petition was granted May 7, 1741, and he was chosen clerk of the new parish at the first meeting, which was held June 30, 1741. He was active in organizing the Congregational church in Oxford, and he and his wife were among its first members, being received October 27, 1745, from the church in Ripton.
Issac and Ruth had five children. They were Joseph, Rachel, Israel, Esther and Sarah.
Israel is my ancestor.

Israel Trowbridge
Israel Trowbridge was born 30 September 1722 in Stratford, Connecticut. He was married to Mary Johnson in 1747 in Derby, Connecticut. Israel died 1795 in Fair Haven, Vermont. Mary Johnson was born 3 December 1724 in Derby, Connecticut. Mary died 1781 in Fair Haven, Vermont.
Israel Trowbridge came with his father to Oxford, Conn., and was engaged in farming there, his home being near the meetinghouse. In the summer or fall of 1780 he removed to the town of Fair Haven, VT, where he settled on a farm in the eastern part of the town, near the west line of Castleton and on the north side of the road leading from Hydeville. He was one of the proprietors named in the charter of Fair Haven, and located in September 1780, three divisions of his right, nearly three hundred acres, in one body, along Castleton line and the river.
Israel and Mary Johnson Trowbridge had eight children. Their names were: Abigail, Hannah, Levi, David, Elizabeth, Sarah, Ann and Mary.
Levi is my ancestor.

Levi Trowbridge
Levi Trowbridge was born 25 May 1753 in Oxford, Connecticut. He married Hannah Smith 29 December 1782. Levi died 14 December 1843 in Swan Creek, Gallia County, Ohio. Hannah Smith was born 1760 in New Haven, Connecticut and died 8 January 1832 in Amesville, Ohio.
Levi Trowbridge enlisted at the outbreak of the Revolution in Capt. Thomas Clark's Derby Company, which marched to relieve Boston at the Lexington alarm and was on duty two days. Family tradition credits him with a later enlistment, and says he was taken prisoner with his brother by the British and confined in a prison ship, where both had smallpox, of which his brother died.
After his marriage he settled on a farm in Oxford. He and his wife were admitted members of the Oxford Congregational church April 18, 1784. He followed his father to Fair Haven, Vt., and in August 1786, the latter gave him his "second division lot" lying on the south side of the river. He sold this after his father's death and went to live on West Street in the village. He lived there until the spring of 1810, when he immigrated to Washington County, Ohio, and settled near Marietta. He removed to Ames Township, Athens County, in 1820, and in June 1836, to Swan Creek, Ohio Township, Gallia County, where he passed the remainder of his life. He was a prosperous farmer and pursued an active life until shortly before death.
Levi and Hannah Smith Trowbridge had eight children. They were: Sarah, David, Philo, Jacob, Chauncey, Archibald, Anna and Hannah.
Jacob is my ancestor. Special mention must be made to point out that Jacob's brother David was the husband of Sophronia Howe Trowbridge, the author of Grandma Trowbridge's Narrative.

Jacob Trowbridge
Jacob Trowbridge was born 25 December 1790 in Fair Haven, Rutland County, Vermont. He married first, Sarah Shepard in 1812 and second, Mary Polly Boomer 29 February 1824 in Washington County, Ohio. Jacob died 19 April 1867 in Swan Creek, Gallia County, Ohio. Sarah Shepard was born in 1792 and died 22 July 1823 in Devolta, Washington County, Ohio. Mary Polly Boomer was born 7 May 1804 in Fall River, Bristol County, Massachusetts and died 16 October 1865 Swan Creek, Gallia County, Ohio.
Jacob Trowbridge was a carpenter by trade. He was the first of his family to emigrate to Ohio, going there in 1806 (age 16) with a man named Carver and building a flourmill in Marietta. He then went to Cincinnati where he is said to have helped build the first mill and to have helped erect and start the first steam engine west of the Ohio.
He enlisted in the Army in the War of 1812 and was the first to receive a commission signed by Gov. Meigs of Ohio. He was an Ensign, Lieutenant and for a short time a Captain. He was taken prisoner at General Hull's surrender of Detroit and was so angered by it that he drove his sword into the ground and broke it off at the hilt. He also participated in the battles of Chippewa, Lundy's Lane and New Orleans. After his marriage, he settled on a farm in Washington Co. until 1836 when he removed to a farm in Swan Creek, Gallia County where he lived the remainder of his life.
Jacob and Sarah Shepard Trowbridge had four children. They were: Levi, Harriet Ward, Eleanor (Ellen) and Ferguson Hiland.
Jacob and Mary Polly Boomer Trowbridge had ten children. They were: Lemuel, Eliza Ann, Mary Hope, Ann, Issac, Amy, John, Charles, Francis Marion and Elizabeth Clarinda.
Ferguson Hiland is my ancestor.

Ferguson Hiland Trowbridge
Ferguson Hiland Trowbridge was born 9 September 1821 in Marietta, Washington County, Ohio. He was married to Ruth Crawford 4 February 1844. He died 1 December 1862 at the home of an Uncle, Anselm T. Blake, 5 miles east of Crown City, Gallia County, Ohio. Ruth Crawford was born 9 April 1825 in Culpepper, West Virginia. She died 12 May 1891 in Crown City, Gallia County, Ohio.
Ferguson H. Trowbridge served in the Black Hawk Indian War. After his marriage, he settled in Crown City, Gallia County, Ohio. He was a boatman on the Kanawha, Ohio and Mississippi rivers and also farmed during that period. During the Civil War, he enlisted in the Army on August 22, 1862 for 3 years. He served in Company G, 117th Ohio Infantry, which became Company G, 1st Ohio Heavy Artillery. He contacted fever in the army and was ordered home but was too ill to reach home and died at the home of an Uncle, Anselm T. Blake, 5 miles east of Crown City.
Ferguson Hiland and Ruth Crawford Trowbridge had eight children. They were: Adelaide, Asa Hiland, Samantha, Esther Evaline, Zebulon Henry, Imogene, Jefferson Davis and Alice Selina.
Zebulon Henry is my ancestor.

Zebulon Henry Trowbridge
Zeb T

Zeb Trowbridge

Zebulon Henry Trowbridge was born 10 January 1856 in Crown City, Gallia County, Ohio. He married Lutitia (Lilly Jean) Shaw 10 May 1877 in Crown City, Gallia County, Ohio. He died in 1920 in Saint Albans, West Virginia. Lutitia Shaw was born 28 August 1857 in Chambersburgh, Ohio. She died 7 June 1916 in Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland.
Zeb was trained as a millwright in Crown City, Ohio. After marriage he settled in St. Albans, WV. He owned and ran a large farm there and was a member of the firm Trowbridge & Halstead. He was a deputy sheriff of Kanawha County for 10 years. He was a deputy tax commissioner at Charleston, WV for one term.
Zebulon Henry and Lilly Jean Trowbridge had thirteen children. They were: Calvin, Kitty Mae, Malcolm, James Claudius, Nellie, Baby Boy, Zebulon Henry, Frederick, Roscoe, Glenn Earl, Beryle Edna, Beulah Adna, and Audra Ruth.
Malcolm is my ancestor.

Zeb & Boys

Zeb and Trowbridge Boys
Malcolm second from right in Front of Zeb.

Mac-Beryle Edna-Fred & Audra

Four of Zeb's Children
Malcolm, Beryle Edna, Fred & Audra

Malcolm Trowbridge
Malcolm Trowbridge was born September 30 1881 in St. Albans, Kanawha County, West Virginia. He married Nora Kate Sams 19 July 1903. He died February 4 1960 in Huntington, Cabell County, West Virginia. Nora Kate Sams was born 18 October 1885 in St. Albans, Kanawha County, West Virginia. She died April 26 1958 in Huntington, Cabell County, West Virginia.

My personal memories of my grandfather, "Mac", were of a quiet man, an intelligent man, and a great baseball fan. I remember him listening to the Cincinnati Reds games on the radio and then he would go to Cincinnati (150 miles) on his days off to see the Reds play. I really tried, but never managed, to beat him in a game of checkers. If someone asked grandpa a question, grandma usually answered it, so "Mac" maintained his reputation for being "quiet".

Obituary from the Huntington, WV paper on 2/5/60:
Seventy - eight years old, 917 Eleventh Street, a retired Chesapeake & Ohio Railway conductor, died yesterday in a Huntington hospital. Mr. Trowbridge was a C & 0 employee for 52 years before his retirement in 1955. He was born September 30, 1881, at St. Albans, a son of the late Z. H. and Lilly Trowbridge, and was a member of the Brotherhood of Railway conductors. Survivors include three daughters, Mrs. Arthur D. Steele of Huntington, Miss Kathryn Trowbridge of Beaumont, Tex., and Mrs. W. E. Hampton of Vine Grove, Ky.; three sons, Malcolm Trowbridge, Jr., of Lewiston, N. Y., and Robert N. and William A. Trowbridge of Huntington; one brother, Fred Trowbridge of St. Albans, one sister, Mrs. W. E. Harbour of St, Albans, and 13 grandchildren and 12 great - grandchildren. The body is at the Steele Funeral Home. Funeral services will be conducted at 2 p. m. tomorrow at the funeral home by Dr. John W. Hollister and the Rev. D. Lowther. Burial will be in Woodland Cemetery at Ironton. Friends may call at the funeral home after 2 P. M. today.
Malcolm and Kate Trowbridge had eight children. They were: Margaret Irene, Roy Donaldson, Katherine Imogene, Madolyn, Mary Elizabeth, Malcolm Jr., Robert Neal and William Allan.
My mother is Margaret Irene Trowbridge.

Me, Mom & Dad
Arthur Steele Jr, Irene Trowbridge Steele & Arthur Steele Sr.
Newport, R.I. 1951

Margaret Irene Trowbridge
Margaret Irene Trowbridge was born March 7 1906 in St. Albans, Kanawha County, West Virginia. She married John Herbert Chittum in 1924. John Chittum was born about 1903 in Clifton Forge, Virginia. He died in a train wreck in 1926.
Margaret Irene and John Herbert Chittum had one child: John Malcolm Chittum born September 22 1924 in Huntington, Cabell county, West Virginia.
Margaret Irene Trowbridge married Arthur Daly Steele January 9 1929 in Gallipolis, Gallia County, Ohio. She died May 16 1970 in Huntington, Cabell County, West Virginia. Arthur Steele was born October 12 1904 in Wellston, Jackson County, Ohio. He died December 27 1977 in Huntington, Cabell County, West Virginia.

OBIT (Huntington Herald Dispatch, Sunday, May 17, 1970):
Mrs. Margaret Irene Steele, 65, of 424 Washington Ave., was dead on arrival Saturday evening at a Huntington hospital after suffering an apparent heart attack at her home. She was a sister of Robert Trowbridge of Huntington, executive director of the West Virginia Housing Authority. A retired employee of Star Furniture Co., Mrs. Steele was born March 7, 1905, at St Albans, a daughter of the late Malcolm and Kate Holland Trowbridge. She was a member of Beverly Hills United Methodist Church, Women's Society of Christian Service, Charity Sunday School class and Order of Eastern Star of Ceredo. Other survivors include her husband, Arthur D. Steele; two sons, John M. Chittum of Huntington and Arthur D. Steele Jr. of Great Falls, Mont.; three daughters, Mrs. Leroy Carson, Mrs. Marjorie Adams and Mrs. Jane McLeod, all of Huntington; a sister, Mrs. Madeline Hampton of Vine Grove, Ky.; two other brothers, Malcolm Trowbridge of Lewiston, N.Y., and William Trowbridge of Los Angeles, Calif., and 14 grandchildren. The body is at Steele Funeral Home.

OBIT (Huntington Herald Dispatch, Monday, May 18, 1970):
Funeral services for Mrs. Margaret Irene Steele, 65, of 424 Washington Ave., who died Saturday, will be conducted Tuesday at 2 p.m. at the Steele Funeral Home by Dr. William A. Woods. Burial will be in White Chapel Memorial Gardens. Marcum Chapter 61, Order of the Eastern Star, will conduct memorial services today at 7:30 p.m. at the funeral home. Friends may call after noon today. Pallbearers will be Roy Everett, George Farrar, Ted Neal, Don Neal, Don Elmore and Herschel Sturms.

There is a discrepancy in Irene's birth date in the Obituary. Her actual birth-year is 1906. There is also a discrepancy in her mother's name, which should be Nora Kate Sams Trowbridge.
Irene was a mother and a homemaker for much of her life. She had a Real estate license and worked in Real Estate and also in clerical/bookkeeping positions in her latter years after the children were raised. She was a good cook, a loving person, an avid reader, and one helluva great MOM!

Margaret Irene Trowbridge and Arthur Steele had four children. They were: Arthur Daly Jr., Margaret Anne (Peggy), Marjorie Noreen and Elizabeth Jane Steele.

This completes my basic straight-line history of my Trowbridge ancestry. I will try to put together other documents concerning lineage back to historical persons through the Prowse connection.

Appendix I


The house now known as the Tudor Tavern, no. 15 Fore Street (the Thomas Trowbridge house in Taunton) is acknowledged to be the oldest surviving domestic dwelling in Taunton. Its main structure has been dated to the 14th century.
Beneath the front window on the second floor of no. 15 is a board inscribed "T.T. 1578 I.T.", these initials can be identified as those of Thomas Trowbridge, described variously as a mercer or merchant tailor, and his wife Joan. Trowbridge stated in 1610 that he had held the premises for nearly thirty years. (Note, on Thomas wife, was her name Joan or Johanna? Somerset Record Office, DD/PM, box 7, makes mention of the facade panel erected by Thomas Trowbridge, this reads: T.T. 1578 I.T. Thomas and Johanna or Johane Trowbridge - the letters I and J being interchangeable at that time).
Thomas Trowbridge or Strobridge was buying up a number of properties within Taunton Deane manor from 1572 onwards. The remodelling of the Fore Street property was evidently carried out at the commencement of Trowbridge's lease, and his involvment in the commercial life of the town is indicated by his purchasing five successive licences to prosecute for debe beyond Taunton Deane manor court between 1579 and 1584, and taking a lease for six years in 1585 of the right to prosecute any tenant for debts over 40s.
Thomas Trowbridge used the shop at 15 Fore Street for the trade of selling "Mercerye wares" and evidently lived with his family behind and above his business. Thomas only son, John Trowbridge, baptized at St. Mary Magdalene on March 25, 1570, became a wool merchant and took a shop next to his father, probably that on the west (no. 16). The two shops was beneficial to both father and son, "by reason that such as come to the one shoppe to buye cloth wilbe and are incited to buie the mercery and silk wares and other requisites of convertinge the same cloth into apparrell, and those that came to Thomas's shop to buye the mercery comodityes of apparell would be and have ben incited the sooner to buye their woollen clothes at John's shop".
Thomas Trowbridge retired from his shop at 15 Fore Street around 1606, and sub-let it to Benjamin Cosyns, another Taunton mercer.

From the will of Thomas Trowbridge (dated July 6, 1619, proved May 6, 1620; he was buried at St. Mary Magdalene Feb. 20, 1619/20). The will refers to the furnishings and fittings of his Fore Street house. To his nephew, Thomas Trowbridge, he left the three great chestes in the shoppe, sixe greate ringed boxes, one case of small boxes, one fayre glasse boxe, with all the shelfes in the shoppe, the great spruse chest in the hall, one tableborde and forme in the hall with all the seilinge and benchinge, and boards underfeete in the hall, twelve platters in the buttery, with sixe candelstickes, one bason and ewer, the chayre in the hall, and all other things belonginge to the hall. To his kinswoman Joan, wife of Stephen Parrye, he bequeathed the square wroughte tableboarde and frame standinge in the dyninge chamber, and the carpett wroughte with copper, and cruell belonginge to it, the cypers cheste in the Rayne chamber, the bedsteade wherein I lye in the Rayne chamber, performed with feather bed, boulster, pillowes, the second best coverlette, and curtaynes and sheetes, my best guilt salte, the eleaven silver spoones with rounde knobbes and the newest wharminge panne. (Note, his station in life is indicated by bequests to Richard Mercer, schoolmaster of the castle schoole in Taunton, to Richard Davies, vicar of St. James, Taunton, to his overseer and good friend, the Rev. John Clarke, D.D., and to three servants.)
Thomas Trowbridge's principal legacy to his town had been arranged before his death, in 1614, when he assigned six acres of land in West Monkton for the benefit of the poor of the parishes of St. Mary of Magdalene and St. James.

Appendix II

Pg. 341, Chapman's book - NOET (sic) B


{A gift from Thomas Trowbridge to the poor of the Church of St. Mary Magdalen, in Taunton, Somersetshire, England}

" On the 4th of December, 1614, Thomas Trowbridge, the elder, of Taunton, merchant tailor, granted, and assigned, unto ten trustees, two closes, or pieces of ground, called Tunaways, the one consisting of five acres, and the other being one, and lying in West Monkton, for the residue of one thousand years, commencing on the 28th of September, 1613, upon trust, that out of the rents and profits of the said closes, then worth six pounds per annum, clear to pasture, there should be paid, on St. Andrew's Day, yearly, unto the churchwardens and overseers of St. Mary Magdalen, six pounds, whereof they were to pay, on that day, yearly, to the churchwardens and overseers of St. James', in or near Taunton, forty shillings, to be by them distributed among forty of the poorest, oldest, and most honest, impotent poor of that parish, by a shilling a-piece, the distribution to be made on St. Thomas' Day, before Christmas; and within a month after such distribution, the said overseers of St. James', to give a note of the names of those that received the said benevolence to the churchwardens and overseers of St. Mary Magdalen, aforesaid.

"And that the residue, being four pounds, should be distributed by the said churchwardens and overseers of St. Mary Magdalen, amongst eighty of the like poor of that parish, by one shilling a-piece, the same day, and a note kept of the names of the said poor, and such names delivered in at Easter, before the Constables of the borough of Taunton, two or more of the trustees being called in. And if the profits amounted to more than six pounds, the residue, in like manner, distributed among the poor of Taunton, St. Mary Magdalen, and to be accounted for as aforesaid. And if the profits should not amount to six pounds, then a proportional abatement to be made on each parish, and the residue to be distributed as aforesaid. And when the number of trustees should come to four, then a new deed to be made to some person or persons, who should assign their interest back again to these four, and as many as they should think expedient, the major part to be the most sufficient and honest inhabitants of the town of Taunton; so that the term might be preserved to the uses aforesaid. And that this gift should go on to the increase of the relief of the poor, and not to ease any rate or taxation. And the donor desired that the poor should be assembled on St. Thomas' Day, at Divine service, at their respective parish churches, except such as could not; and after the distribution made, the donors name mentioned, and they put in mind to thank God for His mercy."

"In the return of charitable donations, in 1787, this benefaction is said to produce the annual sum of eight pounds, and the trustees were Joseph Harman, William Pring, and Thomas Locke." (Vide History of Taunton, England, published in 1822.)

Appendix III


The will of John Trowbridge of Taunton, woolendraper, published by word of mouth on 1 July 1649 in the presence of George Serle, esq., and Thomas Trowbridge, his son, and John Trowbridge, his grandchild. He left to his eldest son Thomas Trowbridge his messuage and tenement near Barthpoole Bridge in the parish of West Monckton, occupied by Henry Beale, to hold to Thomas for the remainder of his term therein after the deaths of the testator and Alice his wife. To his son Thomas his land in Stogursey, viz., certain tenements from which the testator received high rent. All his goods and chattels he left to his son Thomas whom he made sole executor. The will was proved on 25 Feb. 1649/50.

The will of John Trowbridge is found at the Public Record Office in London. The complete text can be found under ref. P.C.C. 32 Pembroke, Prob. 11/211.

Appendix IV


ARMES PARLANTES - indirect reference to the name of the bearer.
FESS - a wide horizontal band across the middle of an escutcheon.
ESCUTCHEON - a shield 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 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 arms 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.

Trowbridge COA

Appendix V


By: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

In Mather's Magnalia Christi,
Of the old colonial time,
May be found in prose the legend
That is here set down in rhyme.

A ship set sail from New Haven,
And the keen and frosty airs,
That filled her sails at parting,
Were heavy with good men's prayers.

"O Lord! if it be thy pleasure" ---
Thus prayed the old divine ---
"To bury our friends in the ocean,
Take them, for they are thine !"

But Master Lamberton muttered,
And under his breath said he,
"This ship is so crank and walty,
I fear our grave she will be !"

And the ships that came from England,
When the winter months were gone,
Brought no tidings of this vessel
Nor of Master Lamberton.

This put the people to praying
That the Lord would let them hear
What in his greater wisdom
He had done with friends so dear.

And at last their prayers were answered :
It was in the month of June,
An hour before the sunset
Of a windy afternoon,

When, steadily steering landward,
A ship was seen below,
And they knew it was Lamberton, Master,
Who sailed so long ago.

On she came, with a cloud of canvas,
Right against the wind that blew
Until the eye could distinguish
The faces of the crew.

Then fell her straining topmasts,
Hanging tangled in the shrouds,
And her sails were loosened and lifted,
And blown away like clouds.

And the masts, with all their rigging,
Fell slowly, one by one,
And the hulk dilated and vanished,
As a sea mist in the sun !

And the people who saw this marvel
Each said unto his friend,
That this was the mould of their vessel,
And thus her tragic end.

And the pastor of the village
Gave thanks to God in prayer,
That, to quiet their troubled spirits,
He had sent this Ship of Air.

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