THE TROWBRIDGE GENEALOGY Excerpts from a family history by Francis Bacon Trowbridge

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History of the Trowbridge family in America
Compiled by Francis Bacon Trowbridge (1908)

This famous genealogy compiled by Francis Bacon Trowbridge between 1898 and 1907 and published in 1908 is the foundation for the history and genealogy of the (West) Virginia families presented on this web site. I first encountered this very large book in the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. in the 1970's and extracted much of the information on the early family and our West Virginia branch. The entire book is now available for viewing and downloading (of individual pages) on, which of course requires a subscription to Ancestry. A one month subscription more than covers the cost of obtaining relevant portions of this book from any other source. The following is extracted from the preface (pages 7 & 8) to the book.
The preface begins by recounting that the first attempt at a genealogy of the descendants of Thomas Trowbridge, the immigrant ancestor who came to America from England, was made as early as 1850 and the material collected was published in a pamphlet in 1854. In 1869, Thomas R. Trowbridge, grandfather of Francis Bacon Trowbridge, employed Rev. Frederick W. Chapman to take the material collected in the 1850's and as much other material as could be found and prepare a book for publication. The result was, "Trowbridge Family" published in 1872. Mr. Trowbridge in the preface goes on to describe his own efforts.

"The compilation of the present book was begun early in 1898. The genealogical standard has advanced materially since the 'Trowbridge Family' was published, and the compiler of the present book decided that he would obtain the best results if he should disregard all printed records of the Trowbridge's and proceed as if no history of the family had ever been published. He has followed this plan throughout the compilation of this book, and all statements made are based on public records, examined by himself in nearly every case, or on correspondence with members of the family. Mr. Lothorp Withington, a recognized authority on genealogy research in English records, has been employed to conduct the investigation in England. Mr. Robert A. Smith of Washington, D.C., was employed to copy the war records of Trowbridges previous to the Civil War in the United States Pension Office. The many hundreds of records of their service in the Civil War were taken by the compiler from the official rosters of the several states (a most laborious work, as those volumes are not indexed), supplemented by family letters and a search of the records in the Pension Office. The compiler has searched the public records diligently for the few facts that are missing in the earlier generations and his correspondents know how earnestly he has written them to supply the facts, missing in the later generations. He has made a special effort to give the birth and parentage of the Trowbridge wives. The completeness of details in the biographical sketches indicate his efforts in that direction. He has corresponded with some member of each family circle within the past six months, so that family registers are as complete as it was possible to make them. The proof sheets have been compared with the original notes made by the compiler and the letters he has received."

"The greater part of this book is a history of Thomas Trowbridge and his descendants. In the course of searches for members of that family the compiler has accumulated considerable data relative to several other families of Trowbridges, some perhaps descending from Thomas Trowbridge, but so far not certainly identified, and others known to be not descended from him. These have been included in this book..."

"The compiler feels that he has conscientiously made ever effort to make this history complete and he now with regret draws his work to a close."


New Haven, Conn., June 30, 1908

Ronald N. Wall
Modified: 24 February 2018