Select Truman Surname Genealogy

The surnames Truman and Trueman both describe someone who was a trustworthy person and probably developed initially as a nickname.  The derivation is the Middle English trewe meaning faithful or steadfast.  It probably emerged first as a given name and then as a surname.  The name is mainly to be found in the English Midlands.

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Select Truman Ancestry

England.  The early spelling was Trewman and the early sightings were in Nottinghamshire.  John Trewman in his will of 1427 expressed a desire to be buried in the chancel at Costock.  It is thought that a recess or tomb was built in the wall of the church to comply with his wish.  Henry Trewman, born in Nottingham in 1594, was appointed Bishop of Newark in 1642.

However, the spelling was shifting to Truman by that time.  Henry Trewman was probably an uncle or other close relative of Joseph Truman, the Puritan minister and writer.  Another Joseph Truman from Nottinghamshire departed for America in 1666.

The Truman spelling continued in Nottinghamshire but as the name spread west and north into Cheshire, Lancashire and Yorkshire the Trueman spelling became more commonplace.  The split between Truman and Trueman in 1891 was approximately 55/45 in favor of Trueman.  Fred Trueman, the great England fast bowler, was an example of the Yorkshire Truemans.

  There was a Truman outpost in Devon.  Again the spelling shifted from Trewman to Truman, but possibly later.  Robert Trewman began Trewmanís Exeter Flying Post in 1763, a weekly newspaper that continued to be published until 1917.  Gilbert
Truman was recorded at Chudleigh in 1723 and subsequent Trumans appeared as butchers in Chudleigh and tailors in Dawlish nearbyThe painter Herbert Truman came from this tailor family.

.  The Truman name appeared in London in 1631 when William Truman was recorded as a brewer in Old Street.  Joseph Truman, probably a descendant acquired the Lolsworth Field brewery in 1694.  This became Trumanís Black Eagle brewery, in its day the second largest brewery in Britain and the largest in London.

America.  Two Trumans came to America from Nottingham in the 1660ís and 1670ís, but under different circumstances.

Joseph Truman arrived with his wife and children in 1666 in New London, Connecticut.  A year later he was chosen Constable, a position of some honor in those days.  Later,
Truman Brook and Truman Street are named after him and his family.  The family history was inscribed in a note-book of Jonathan Truman in New London in 1822.

Henry Truman, however, came involuntarily.  He was transported to Maryland in 1677.   According to Henry C. Pelenís 1987 book Truman and Related Families of Early Maryland, the line via his youngest son Richard extended into Virginia and William Truman who died there in 1797.  His descendants moved to Kentucky and then to Independence, Missouri, which was where Harry S. Truman Ė the 31st President of the United States Ė was born in 1884.

Another early arrival was Richard Truman from Salisbury in Wiltshire, a Quaker who came with his wife and family in 1715 and settled in Bucks county, Pennsylvania.  His descendants were traced by George S. Truman in 1902 in an unpublished manuscript.

.  William Trueman and his family from Hawnby in the North Riding joined other Yorkshire families in 1774 in emigrating to Canada.   They made their home at Prospect Farm at Point de Bute in New Brunswick

Select Truman Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for further stories and accounts:

Select Truman Names

Sir Benjamin Truman was the 18th century entrepreneur who developed the Truman brewery in London.
Harry S. Truman
was the 33rd President of the United States, from 1945 to 1952.

Fred Trueman
, born in Yorkshire, was the great fast bowler in the English cricket teams of the 1950ís and 1960ís

Select Trumans Today
  • 7,000 in the UK (most numerous in Nottinghamshire)
  • 2,000 in America (most numerous in Ohio) 
  • 2,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Australia)

PS.  You might want to check out the surnames page on this website.  It covers surname genealogy in this and companion websites for more than 800 surnames.

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