Zebulon Townsend

+5 votes
Hit a brick wall on a Zebulon Townsend. Believe he was born in 1776 New York to a Nathaniel Townsend  and mother may have been a Sarah Halstead. Zebulon left New York and moved to Shelburne Nova Scotia and later to Saint John New Brunswick. I would like to find out if Nathaniel and Sarah are his parents. And who then are Nathaniel's parent. Zebulon died in 1838 in St.John New Brunswick. I have some infor on Zebulon but not much. I would be open to any information on the whole family if any one can help me. Thanks
in Genealogy Help by
retagged by Guy Constantineau

3 Answers

+3 votes
Have not seen any evidence to support claims that Zebulon was the son of Nathaniel and Sarah (Halstead) Townsend, nor any evidence he was born in New York, although a NY origin is plausible, as Shelburne was founded by Loyalist refugees who sailed from New York City.  He was recorded at Shelburne with a wife and children, as follows:

Harriet [Gordon]; b. 1782(?); d. (Thurs) Dec 1858 (aged 76) St. John, N.B.; m. 11 Mar 1804 Christ Church, Shelburne, N.S. to Capt. Zebulon TOWNSEND; b. 1777(?); d. 12 Mar 1838 (aged 61) St. John, N.B.; (Marriage from records of Christ Church Anglican, Shelburne, N.S.); (Unless otherwise noted, information on this family group is from the Shelburne County Genealogical Society.

Harriet was the daughter of Michael GORDON (Sr.); b. 29 Sep. 1747 (probably); d. 13 Feb 1820 (aged 73) Windsor, N.S., (survived by widow & 7 children); m. 11 Feb 1782 Dutch Reformed Church, NYC to Harriett [Bochanan/Buchanan]; d. 1824 Windsor, N.S.; (Michael was probably born in Irelandl. His name first appears on the muster rolls of the 17th Light Dragoons 5 May 1772 at Clonmell, IRELAND, as a Pvt. He came with the Reg't. to Boston in 1775; and by the end of the war had achieved the rank of  Master Sgt.  He received grants of land in Shelburne, NS iand later moved to Windsor, NS.  Documentary evidence linking Michael and Harriet GORDON to Harriet and Zebulon TOWNSEND, is a Deed of the water lot at Shelburne made by MICHAEL GORDON (Sr.) & HARRIET GORDON, his wife, to NATHANIEL MICHAEL TOWNSEND, dated 24 Apr 1806, proved 4 May 1812, described him as their grandson.);

Children of Harriet Gordon and Zebulon Townsend:

Nathaniel Michael TOWNSEND; Bapt. 28 Apr 1805 Shelburne, N.S.; d. 30 Apr 1843 St. John, N.B.;
Gordon TOWNSEND; b. 22 Nov 1806; d. 1835 St. John, N.B.; (Will proved 3 Mar 1835, St. John, N.B. mentions wife, Eleanor);
Sally Holsted [Townsend]; b. 1 Jan 1808;
William Sutherland TOWNSEND; b. 27 Jul 1809;
Nancy Gordon [Townsend]; b. 4 Apr 1812;
Zebulon TOWNSEND; b. 1 Mar 1814;
Henry TOWNSEND; b. 2 May 1816;
Holsted Buchanon TOWNSEND; b. 10 Dec 1818;

UPDATE:  Some documentary  evidence has been found to support the theory that Zebulon was the son of Nathaniel TOWNSEND and Sarah Halstead — The “Dutch Door Genealogy" website has a transcription of Dutch Reformed Church baptismal records (http://www.dutchdoorgenealogy.com).  Same records from the Dutch Reformed Church of West Hempstead (Kakiat) in Rockland County, near Haverstraw, NY, can be found on the Internet Archives site:

(NOTE: This location of this church was at West NEW Hempstead (Kakiat) in Rockland (formerly Orange) Co., not West Hempstead in Nassau (formerly Queens) Co., on Long Island)


The latter is a digitized copy of a 1909 transcription, purportedly made from an English translation of the original record books (written in Dutch) which were (as of 1909) in the possession of the Holland Society in NYC.  Using the spelling of the names (Sara vs. Sarah and Halsted vs. Hallsted), found in the 1909 transcription, but following the format used be the website, which is easier to read:

Dutch Reformed Church of West Hempstead (Kakiat), Baptisms


# 5.

Nathaniel, (parents and witnesses not recorded)

Age 21 years, bp. 15 January 1775 [p.3 in m/s]


# 6. 

Abigail, d/o Nathaniel TOWNSEL [sic] and Sara HALSTED [sic]

born --------, bp. 15 January 1775 [p.3 in m/s]


# 38.

Zebulon, s/o Nathaniel TOWNSEL [sic] and Sarah HALLSTEAD [sic]

born 31 October 1776, bp. 29 June 1777 [p.5 in m/s] 


+4 votes
A 2007 YDNA test on a descendant did not match the Oyster Bay database.  As of today, it matches no other Townsend in the database - anywhere.
by Liane Townsend G2G Crew (510 points)
this line From,York and Suffolk Massachusetts Bay Province,stemming from Abraham Townsend and Mary (Eustice) Townsend, is another Townsend connection from early 17th century colonial America. I'm working on it right now. They had a "Nathaniel Townsend",Abraham Townsend, and a Mary Townsend that can be proven with recorded documentation. So we will se if I find another Nathaniel in the next 2 generational lines. XD


Abraham Townsend who married Mary Eustis/Eustice then Judith Edgecombe was a grandson of Thomas Townsend of Lynn through his son Samuel. Marcia Wiswall Lindberg wrote a five generation genealogy of the family in The Essex Genealogist if anyone is interested.  There is also a YDNA group for descendants of Thomas at FTDNA and on the Townsend Society website where non-members can see it.   

Their son the blacksmith Nathaniel Townsend seems to have lived in Lynn and died in 1778.  This YDNA does not match the descendant of Zebulon Townsend of NS either - unfortunately.

The name Zebulon wasn't used in the Lynn family and has always sounded to me like it should be Oyster Bay or Snow Hill, MD.  But with the descendant who tested not matching any male with the surname Townsend [there are about 300 of them], it doesn't help.  I had a good look at Oyster Bay and don't see an available Nathaniel either marrying a Halstead or having Zebulon, nor could I find the same in the Snow Hill group.

Nathaniel ought to show up on Loyalist Lists and I don't see him.  Having a second male Townsend descendant of Zebulon test YDNA would be very helpful as people have been looking for this connection for a long time.

Thank You much for your insight,I will keep this feed in my notes.=)

One thing I have too point out, is that the "Abraham Townsend" Who married "Judith Edgecomb",was the "Abraham Townsend" who was the son of "Abraham Townsend" and "Mary (Eustice) Townsend",

Though you are right about Nathaniel Townsend, he was a Blacksmith of Lynn Blacksmith, that is proven in his will.
There is another avenue with George Townsend who md Rebecca Cowdrey and they had a Nathaniel b 1697 in MA.  George does not belong to the Thomas of Lynn family nor is he in Henry Waters' account of the William Townsend of Boston family.  There is a Nathaniel b 1729 in Reading, MA whose parents are Nathaniel and Susanna (Damon) Townsend.  I see mention of 3 daughters but am not sure that is complete although they did have a Nathaniel b 1729.  Damons also married Cowdreys.
Lindberg has Abraham marrying (2) Judith Edgecomb 8 Dec 1720 at Biddeford, ME.  Mary had died in 1718.  

She shows a son Abraham born 1709 who d 1712, then a second Abraham b 1717 who md 1743 Elizabeth Libby of Saco, ME but gives no further details on him.

She says Abraham Sr. died (on or) before 20 May 1746 and letters of admin were granted to his widow Judith on that date.  This Abraham was called a yeoman in the probate.

Abraham Jr signed an agreement in 1749 as an heir of his father Abraham Sr. who must be the man who died in 1746.  I guess if someone hadn't seen the probate letter, they might think it was Junior who died in 1746 with Judith as his widow.
well ok I did not know all that. can you share that documentain? for wiki tree? or no?

Marcia Wiswall Lindberg's article on five generations of the family of Thomas Townsend of Lynn was in The Essex Genealogist, vol. 13 [there were three parts to it] and this family group is on pp 225 and 226.  This article is available on the NEHGS website American Ancestors that you can access for free at a local Family History Center [I happen to subscribe to it, plus I've had the article for a long time anyhow]

She cites John Frost, Maine Probate Abstracts, vol 2, for her statement that in 1749 in the agreement of heirs at probate court Nathaniel was named the eldest son and Abraham the youngest son [of Abraham Sr.].

The marriage of Absalom and Judith Edgecomb is from Saco and Biddeford Vital Records in the NEHGS Register, vol. 71, p. 129 [1917].  The couple were 'both of Biddeford' and Matthew Short married them.



Ah thank you very much!!! XD
Ok I referenced those sources you gave me, thx again.
Have any other male line descendants of Zebulon Townsend of Shelburne, Nova Scotia taken a YDNA test since 2007?

The answer is no.  However, I have a renewed interest in this line as we have been able to pinpoint them a little better.  I am answering from memory but assume this is the Harriett marriage, etc.and Zebulon b 1777, etc.  Another researcher pointed out some newly online church records so a family tree of sorts can be put together with a Zebulon bapt in Orange County, NY.  As this family was associated with mine in Orange Co. and Sussex Co., NJ, I am always interested.  

I just looked at those YDNA results and the man who tested has no matches whatsoever beyond the initial 12 markers.  That is a very unusual result.  He even has none with non-Townsend surnames which is even more unusual.  Almost all of our testees have matches with other surnames, however my husband in fact is an example of having only one other match in the whole world, so it does happen.  So if Zebulon sprange from the Orange Co. family, then it seems very likely that somewhere along the line a father of record may not be the father.

If you would like to contact me please do:  editor@townsendsociety.org
+3 votes
Not sure if this helps but it is certainly suggestive. A Nathaniel Townson in Califonia. Residece listed as "Little Falls,New York" serving his sixth month in the revolutionary war in 1780.https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CS3Q-C3D3-F
by Living Smith G2G6 Mach 5 (56.2k points)
I googled Nathaniel Townsend as he is not in the DAR database and found he married Judith Redlon 29 Nov 1787 [Redlon Genealogy]. As Nathan Townsend he is lined up with Abraham and Isaac in Little Falls, ME; Daniel nearby. Looks like two small children in the house and since the 1790 census was still being done in 1791 that is very likely. His wife was born in 1763 I think, so he was at least 18 in 1780 when he served. Looks like Nathaniel and Isaac still side by side in Phillipsburgh in 1800; Daniel nearby. All three are in the 1810.

Ironically, there is a Zebulon Gordon living near Daniel in - I think it was 1810!
Thank you. That is very good too know on all accounts of your information. I'm tag this too Abraham Townsend Sr's. profile. Time for me too get reading and documenting on what you provided. thx again, your help was priceless.=) =)

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