One Name Place Study: NS Townsend of Columbus, Ohio

Townsend Study in Franklin County Ohio

The hunt for ancestors continues with the third of 15 heads of households named in the 1880 US Census with the last name Townsend in Franklin, County.

Norton Strange Townsend 1880 US Census
"United States Census, 1880,"NS Townsend, Columbus, Franklin, Ohio, United States; citing enumeration district 042, sheet 25A, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 1015; FHL microfilm 1255015.

In 1880, N.S. Townsend (FS 29S3-R8W) and his wife Margaret are living in Columbus, Franklin, Ohio. As a side note, Columbus is more urban than Truro and Hamilton have been. On, a user edited the N S to stand for Norton Strange Townsend. Norton was born about 1816 in England. His wife Margaret as born around 1824 in West Virginia. 

Norton was a professor at the State University. His neighbor Edward Orton was President of the university. Norton had two children also attending the university, one being a daughter. Two other members of his household were attending the university but don't appear to be relatives. 

Descendants of Norton have done a great job of researching this line. My great grandfather William James Townsend does not appear to belong to this family, William never mentions parents born in England or West Virginia. Given that Norton is old enough to be William's father and living in the same county, my conclusion is that they are not father and son. It's also likely that they are not extended family.


  1. Off topic, but Edward Orton had a building at Ohio State named after him
    It housed the bell tower that chimed a hand ring concert at noon every day in the late 50s when I was working my way through school as a secretary in the geology dept. Housed in Orton hall.
    Back to your regularly scheduled program...😌

    1. Vera,

      Thank you so much for this detail! My Great Grandpa Victor Zumstein was a professor in physics at Ohio State University at this time period as well. I like knowing a few of the little details of what was happening around campus when he was there. Thanks for going off topic. I love it!

      - Devon


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