Genealogy of the Trowbridges of Morris Co., NJ

by Francis Bacon Trowbridge.

"This Coat of Arms was prepared by the Department of Heraldry of Tiffany, New York, and was considered by Francis Bacon Trowbridge to correctly depict the Trowbridge Coat of Arms. It reads in Latin: "Let the bridge be firm." The Trowbridge Coat of Arms in England was borne, by Admiral Sir Thomas Troubridge (as it was spelled then): a brave naval officer under Horatio Nelson, Great Britain's greatest admiral. Sir Thomas Trowbridge was knighted in 1799. The cross keys of St. Peter being added to his Coat of Arms after his reduction of the Castle of Saint Elmo. His motto was SPES PONS VITAC ESTE. The Trowbridge Coat of Arms was still on a wind.. in St. James Church, Taunton, England in 1908."
Special thanks to Cheryl Trowbridge-Miller for the Trowbridge Coat of Arms.


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This web page is primarily about the branch of the family that remained in Morris County, which I was surprised to find that in spite of the multitude of Trowbridge web pages on the internet, there were very few, if any, from the Morris County branch of the family. In fact, many of the Trowbridges that now live all over the United States are his descendents. This web page is about the branch of the family that remained in Morris County, which I was surprised to find that in spite of the multitude of Trowbridge web pages on the internet, there were very few, if any, from the Morris County branch of the family. In researching this web page, I relied on a variety of sources, including such genealogy web sites such as, Family, other Trowbridge web pages (especially the web pages of cousin Cheryl Trowbridge-Miller, &Sylvie Higgins Paine), research by two of my second cousins, Mary Pavlik and Doug Gawron; the US Genweb pages for Morris County (maintained by Brianne Kelly-Bly); local cemeteries, libraries.

The most important source of most of this information is the book that has become the main source book of information for Trowbridge researchers, "The Trowbridge Genealogy" by Francis Bacon Trowbridge. Francis Bacon Trowbridge, was a New Haven based genealogist from the early part of the 20th century who compiled this book in 1909, following the mass mailing of about 800-1000 questionnaires to members of the Trowbridge family living throughout the United States. The information that he obtained is an invaluable source of information for future Trowbridge researchers. The following is a letter my family received from cousin George S. Nas, who had just obtained a copy of the Francis Bacon Trowbridge book, "the Genealogy of the Trowbridge Family" back in 1982. It is an excellent summary of the significance of the Trowbridge family in American History:

1980 by George Nas (edited and revised 2004).

The Trowbridges first arrived in America in 1636 when Thomas Trowbridge, a woolen merchant from Taunton, England, and his family settled in Dorchester, Massachusetts Bay colony. Finding the political and religious climate intolerant, he moved his family to New Haven, Connecticut Colony a few years later. Following the death of his wife, Elizabeth Marshall, Thomas returned to England in the 1640s. He would later participate in the English Civil War, on the side of the Parliamentary forces known as the "Roundheads" against King Charles I of England. He left his sons Thomas, James, and William behind, who started one of the earliest families to settle New England. By 1730, David Trowbridge, a grandson of William Trowbridge, moved out of New Haven Colony with his mother Ann Sherwood, and his step-father Caleb Fairchild, and their family, and settled Hanover, Morris County, New Jersey. As an adult, David would later homestead a part of Morris county that became known as Trowbridge Mountain, according to Morris Plains historian Julia Beers, purchased land from the Indians. That area became known as Trowbridge Mountain according to Francis Bacon Trowbridge:, "because David, his sons, and grandsons built their farms there." Later, several of David's sons left Morris County, and settled in other parts of the country, especially what was then known as the Northwest Territories (Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, etc.), Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Tennessee. In fact, many of the Trowbridges that now live all over the United States are his descendents.

The Trowbridge direct line goes back to:

Thomas Trowbridge
. He was the primitive ancestor of a very large majority of the Trowbridges in America. He came to America in the seventeenth century, from Taunton, Somersetshire, England. He first arrived at the colony of Massachusetts Bay. With some of the Massachusetts Bay Colony laws not being favorable to sane, the Trowbridges moved to the plantation of New Haven, in the New Haven Colony.

Thomas' son, Thomas Trowbridge II was a very enterprising man and became very successful. By 1662, having built Warehouses &Warf Inc., timbering out land on the Common for the building of a vessel, he had became a prominent merchant trading with England, the West Indies, the Sandwich Islands and many other ports. Eventually came the ownership of many sailing ships, which sailed out of New Haven CT. and businesses were established, land was purchased, plantations, formation of companies. At New Haven the Union Wharf Co. was established. He purchased several acres of land from the neighboring Indians. The Indians who sold the land to Thomas T. are on record in New Haven CT. In 1673, with the prospect of war with the Dutch, Thomas Trowbridge was appointed commissary for the New Haven Colony to fit out the troops. He was a confirmed lieutenant with the Conn. troops and probably saw active service in King Philip's War. He was treasurer of the town from. 1679-1680. In later years he was chosen Townsman and held office for 8 years. He acted as agent and purchased much of the land for the town, from the Indians, thus ending Indian ownership within the boundaries of the town of New Haven. Later, the Trowbridge name was considered to be the head of the West India Business in the United States. Thomas also purchased land in the newly acquired colony of New Jersey, mostly as an investment.

George Trowbridge served on board the ship Constitution during the War of 1812 when the famous battle took place with the Guerrier.

Elihu Trowbridge was chosen for the position of one of General George Washington's life-guards in 1776 during the revolution. He served for nine months.

There were more than 100 Trowbridges who served during the Revolutionary War at both land and sea. During the Civil War a regiment could have been formed with those who had the Trowbridge name alone. All of these were from privates to high-ranking officers. Going back to Thomas Trowbridge, there were also direct descendents in the Trowbridge family that served with the Confederate armies. They fought in the Black Hawk wars, Seminole wars, and the Spanish American war. World War I, World War II and in Vietnam. Many were ranch owners and cowboys as well. They went west during the gold rush of 1849. There were authors, many books were published. There were famous Doctors, a music composer in New England, bridge builders, manufacturers, participants in the building of the Erie Canal, in the management capacity.

There was also a Congressman {Ebenezer Rowland Trowbridge},

Many Trowbridge ministers of different faiths; there were sheriffs, a Texas Ranger, pioneers in covered wagons.

Wilber E. Trowbridge was a Sgt. at Fort Yates D.T. in charge of guarding Chief Sitting Bull after his surrender in 1884.

Capt. Roswell Trowbridge captured by British at sea.

Trowbridge's, Early tavern owners.

Benedict Arnold, when transferred in Colonial Army, a Trowbridge took his place.

Thomas Trowbridge, challenged to a duel with pistols by Benedict Arnold.

Stephen Trowbridge with the Green Mountain Boys under Ethan Alien during the Revolutionary War.

Capt. John Trowbridge with troops in Morristown, Morris County, New Jersey, N.J. Huts in winter of 1779-80.

John Townsend Trowbridge, famous 19th century American writer and poet.

Trowbridges, some sea captains, and some seamen lost at sea and never heard of again.

A Trowbridge who prospected in the West and all the Pacific State Territories.

W. O. Trowbridge, Civil War Veteran, worked on Union Pacific R.R. until completed.

Trowbridges, war with Mexico, 1847.

Early Trowbridges in England - Back to approx. 1100 A.D.

Peter De Trowbridge, listed as the Barton (Baron) of Trowbridge during the reign of King Edward I approx. 1300 A.D.

Trowbridges in America, Early New England colonies and settlements.

Professor John T. Trowbridge taught at M.I.T.

William Petit Trowbridge, General with Army Corps of Engineers during the Civil War.

Trowbridges, Ships and Shipping and Bombardier - peacetime and war time during early wars.

Gilbert T. Trowbridge, 3 years on whaling vessel.

George T. Trowbridge, Co A. 27th. Conn. Infantry in Battle of Gettysburg.

Early shipping and adventures of the Trowbridges of the New Haven Colonies.

Harold Rutherford Trowbridge - Mountain Climber.

Miles M. Trowbridge - Color Bearer Co. "C", 1st. Wisconsin, during Civil War.

Caleb Trowbridge at 14 joined Co. M. 1st. Conn. Vol. Rode with the cavalry and participated in most all of Sheridan's Campaigns during Civil War.

Trowbridges extensive business and land holdings in the British West Indies.

There were Trowbridges who were Townsmen and Leaders, schoolteachers, college professors, and inventors.

Dr. Amasa Trowbridge was a professor of Surgery in 1834.

The Honorable Charles C. Trowbridge, Special Indian Agent. Personal involvement with land purchases from the Indians Early Explorations and Expeditions in the Wisconsin and Michigan areas. Traveled in birch bark canoe. The true story relating to Charles C. Trowbridge is incredible.

General Luther S. Trowbridge was associated with Gen. George Armstrong Custer on several occasions. A Lt. Col. during the Battle of Gettysburg, his horse was killed under him while leading the charge of the 5th Michigan Cavalry.

Col. Charles Tyler Trowbridge led the first all black Union Army regiment during the Civil War (predating Col. Shaw's regiment.)

There were Trowbridges at the 1st battle of Bull Run and there were Trowbridges present during the surrender at Appomattox. There were surveyors, even one with the Powell expedition. Railroad officials, a telegraph operator in the Yukon.

Frederic O. Trowbridge in 1891 before he was 16 joined the cavalry and served three years with Custers old regiment-the 7th US Cav. Co H.

Jonathon Trowbridge was a traveling companion of Daniel Boone.

Judge Edmund Goff Trowbridge presided over the trial of the four British soldiers who participated in the Boston Massacre of 1770.

Winston S. Trowbridge was appointed in 1852 to United States Consul for Barbados and adjacent Islands, by President Fillmore with credentials from Queen Victoria.

In writing about sons of the Trowbridge family, many who were early settlers and pioneers in America mentioned above, were all our ancestors. There is substantial documentation and information to prove this is true."

1982, George S. Nas, whose mother was a Trowbridge
from Randolph (Trowbridge Mountain), Morris County, New Jersey.

Compiled by unknown descendant, from the webpage of Sylvie Higgins-Paine

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.


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 "The Domesday Book: A Complete Translation, Alecto Historical Edition", edited by Dr. Ann Williams
and Professor G. H. Martin. Copyright 1992 by Alecto Domesday, Ltd., published by Penguin Books

Wiltshire, LXVII: The Land of Oda And Other Kings Theghs, Page 192
"Beorhtric holds Trowbridge his father held it in Trey, and it paid geld for 10 hides. There is land for 9 ploughs. In demeshe are 2 ploughs and 7 slaves; and 11 villains and 6 cotsets with 7 ploughs. Ther is a mill rendering 10s and 10 acres of meadow, and 12 acres of pasture. [And] woodland 5 furlongs long and 3 furlongs broad. It is worth 5 pounds now 8 pounds."



A neuro-muscular disease known as C. M. T., or Charcot-Marie-Tooth syndrome, has afflicted several members of the Trowbridge family. It comes in two forms: 1A, the more common and less severe form, and a rare, but more serious form: type 1B. If you suspect that you have this condition, consult your physician immediatly so he can test you for the condition. Just a note, the disease is difficult to detect, with each strain having it's own individual blood test. So as a consequence, you should mention this when seeing your physician.

The following is a description of CMT from the Charcot-Marie-Tooth Association website:

"...Charcot-Marie-Tooth, or CMT, is the most common inherited neurological disorder, affecting approximately 150,000 Americans. CMT is found world-wide in all races and ethnic groups. It was discovered in 1886 by three physicians, Jean-Marie-Charcot, Pierre Marie, and Howard Henry Tooth.

CMT patients slowly lose normal use of their feet/legs and hands/arms as nerves to the extremities degenerate. The muscles in the extremities become weakened because of the loss of stimulation by the affected nerves.

Additionally, there is a loss of sensory nerve function. Unlike muscular dystrophy in which the defect is in the muscles, CMT is a disorder in which the defect is in the nerves that control the muscles.

What are its characteristics?
A high arched foot is one of the first signs of this disorder. As the disease progresses, structural foot deformities take place. The patient develops a pes cavus foot with hammer toes. Foot drop and ankle sprains are frequent manifestations. The progressive muscle wasting leads to problems with walking, running, and balance. To avoid tripping, patients with foot drop raise their knees unusually high resulting in high steppage gait. In some patients, muscle weakness may also occur in the upper legs. Flat foot is seen as well in patients with CMT.

Hand function also becomes affected because of progressive muscle atrophy, making fine manipulatory acts, like writing, difficult.

The loss of nerve function in the extremities also leads to sensory loss. The ability to distinguish hot and cold is diminished as well as the sense of touch.

CMT also can be inherited in a recessive or an X-linked pattern. The degree of severity can vary greatly from patient to patient, even within the same family. A child may or may not be more severely disabled than his/her parent.

How is it inherited?
CMT is generally inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern. This means that if one parent has the disease (either the father or the mother) there is a 50% chance of passing it on to each child.

CMT can also be inherited in recessive or an X-linked pattern. To determine the pattern of inheritance, each CMT patient should consult a genetic counselor, neurologist or other medical authority familiar with the disease.

How is it diagnosed?
Careful diagnosis of CMT involves clinical evaluation of muscle atrophy, testing of muscle and sensory responses, nerve condition and electromyographic (EMG) studies, as well as a thorough review of the patient's history. CMT types 1A and 1X can now be diagnosed by a DNA blood test. Some people who carry the CMT genetic trait show no apparent physical symptoms. The variation in degree of physical disability, together with a lack of physician awareness of CMT, has often led to misdiagnosis.

Today, the Charcot-Marie-Tooth Association is educating both medical specialists and patients about CMT.

How is it treated?
At present there is no cure for CMT, although physical therapy and moderate activity are often recommended to maintain muscle strength and endurance.

Custom shoes or shoe inserts (foot orthoses) will help to improve gait. Leg braces will prevent ankle sprains, improve gait, and reduce the amount of energy needed to walk. Corrective orthopedic foot surgery is available to help maintain mobility when medically indicated.

Splinting, specific exercises, adaptive devices and surgery can help maintain hand function.

Currently I am trying to track the extent of the disease in the Trowbridge family, namely those descended from David Trowbridge and Anna Youngs of Mount Freedom, New Jersey. If you or any members of your family who suffer from this disease, or any of the symptoms, you can email me at For more information on CMT, visit the above linked website. You can also get more information from the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) website by clicking here.



Special thanks to the following members of the Trowbridge family who contributed to this webpage:
Barbara Foderaro for information on the descendents of William Francis Trowbridge
Angela Dethloff for her hours of research, and information on her ancestor, William Francis Trowbridge's brother, David Jarrard Trowbridge.
Nancy for information on Thomas Trowbridge.
George Trowbridge, Sr. and Cherri Trowbridge for information regarding the family of Elwood Trowbridge and Rose Snook.
Cheryl Trowbridge-Miller for material regarding Charles Tyler Trowbridge and the descendents of David Trowbridge the son of Daniel Trowbridge.
Charlie Scott (Tabitha Trowbridge)
Doug Gawron (documents and theories regarding Shubael Trowbridge &Crispus Trowbridge)
Mary Pavlik (The descendents of David J. and Bryant Trowbridge)
Jim McCallum (Crispus Trowbridge and the Canadian branch of the Trowbridge family)
Cristi Starr (Strawbridge and Maus families)
George S. Nas
and many others, who are acknowledged throughout my webpage.

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