The Trowbridge family is a west country family with roots in the counties of Wiltshire, Dorset, Somerset and Devon. There were thousands of persons bearing the name living in the down-land and chalk valley villages between the Wiltshire Avon tributaries Ebble and Nader (Don) for over three hundred years from the age of Shakespeare to the beginning of the twentieth century. Today there are virtually no Trowbridge families living there.
The origin of the name is probably from a geographical location. The bridge stem is obvious but the prefix TROW may derive from the anglo-saxon word TREWE meaning Tree*. The literal meaning of the name is Tree bridge, and one can imagine a tree cut down to span a river or stream. There are several forms of the name used in records, e.g. Troubridge, Trobridge and many more. The earliest references to the personal use of the name are the following: Walter de Trobrigge, 1148, Trowbridge, Wiltshire William de Trobrigge, 1275, Trowbridge, Wiltshire Peter de Trobrigge, 1300, Crediton, Devonshire *
[*See P.H Reaney, Dictionary of British Surnames, London, 1976]
The author of this page is a descendant from the Wiltshire branch of the Trowbridge family, see the index of family names . From the index the basic data can then be browsed. The author has also privately published a short book(127pp) The Trowbridge Family History, 1690-1990 which is available in some local history and genealogy libraries. For further information on the book and occurrence of the Trowbridge name in general please send to firstname.lastname@example.org or a compressed PDF version can be downloaded, see Downloads below.
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Download 'The Trowbridge Family History' Updated Edition
(6 March 2008) (4Mb)
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E-Mail contact - Revised 11 December, 2005