Select Truman Miscellany

Here are some Truman stories and accounts over the years:

Benjamin Truman and the Black Eagle Brewery

Benjamin Truman followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, both named Joseph, into brewing, joining the family firm in 1722.  Under his management, the Black Eagle brewery in London increased substantially in prosperity and size.  His beer became the drink of the Royal family and he was knighted by King George III in 1760.  He subsequently had his portrait painted by both George Romney and Sir Thomas Gainsborough.

Truman's image was used on Truman beer labels and in advertising until the 1970s, depicting him as a jolly fat man with a peg leg and the motto: “There’s more hops in Ben Truman.

Truman Tailors in Devon

James Truman was born in Chudleigh in Devon in 1769 and came to Dawlish to marry Mary Matterface.  It was he who started the tailoring business in 1815 in Dawlish in a Georgian house at the top of the Strand, Dawlish’s main shopping area.  He died in 1828 and his wife two years earlier and they were buried in Dawlish.

Two of his sons were tailors.

The eldest James also had his shop at the top of The Strand.  On his early death in 1831, his widow turned to keeping a lodging house there. 

Thomas had a shop in the center of the Strand.  In 1835 he acquired the adjacent premises which his wife turned into lodging apartments.  His son George was also a tailor and took over his father’s business on his death in 1880.  The lodging apartments stayed under family control until 1939.

Trumans and Truemans in the 1891 Census




Trumans in New London, Connecticut

Jonathan Truman wrote the following in his note-book in 1822:

“'Jonathan Truman, owner of this book, is the son of Jonathan Truman, born at New London, on June 25, 1730. He was the son of Thomas Truman who was also born at New London. His father, who was named Joseph, came to America from England (Nottinghamshire), in company with a brother who settled in Virginia. He left at New London two sons, Joseph and Thomas, and a number of daughters."

Harry S. Truman and His Ancestry

"I am sure that the good old Saxon name Truman is just what it purports to be and has nothing whatever to do with Normandy or what spewed out of it."

So wrote President Harry Truman to his cousin Mary Ethel Nolland in March 1952.  He was commenting on the coat of arms marked "Tremaine" that another cousin Ralph Truman had brought to the President.  The President said that he believed the "Tremaine thing is a lot of bunk."  But, he conceded: "Maybe I'm wrong.  Anyway as I've told you so long as we don't find Captain Kidd, Morgan the Pirate or J.P. Morgan either for that matter in 'the line' I'm satisfied."

President Truman occasionally received inquiries from people interested in his family genealogy, and he usually referred them to his cousin Ethel.

He remarked:

"I think she has all the facts, although she spent most of her time trying to prove that the family were Virginians and came over with the followers of Charles I and I always tell her the first Truman to come to this country was the son of the old man who established Truman's Brewery in England in 1666.  Ethel, of course, doesn't like it when I say I think this relative belongs to the branch of the family which I support."

Ethel eventually compiled hundreds of pages of letters, family lore, and other genealogical data that comprised the most complete record of Truman family genealogy."

The Truemans of Prospect Farm

The Truemans, Chapmans, and Blacks were all Methodists and leading figures in the transplanted Yorkshire community that established itself in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia in the 1770’s.  William Trueman and his wife Mary and son William had arrived in 1774 and made their home at Prospect Farm at Point de Bute in New Brunswick.

The Truemans multiplied.  Son William married Elizabeth Keillor and they raised ten children.  These children were equally prolific and there were 87 children in the next generation.   A reunion of the descendants of these early Truemans was held at Prospect Farm in 1875, at which time 500 gathered for an all day picnic.

Prospect Farm today is considerably larger today than the parcel of land purchased in 1775 by William Trueman.  It began with 80 acres of upland and 54 acres of Tantramar marshland. Today the Trueman farm, operated by descendants George and Ronald Trueman, consists of more than 1,000 acres. The farm contains many old Yorkshire heirlooms, including a clock made by Robert Henderson, of Scarborough and brought out in 1774.  There is also a painting of Helm House, the home of the Truemans back in Yorkshire.

Return to Top of Page
Return to Truman Main Page