Truman Surname Genealogy

Truman and Trueman both describe someone who was a trustworthy person
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

Truman Resources on

Truman Ancestry

early spelling was Trewman and the early
sightings were in Nottinghamshire. 
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
Yorkshire Truemans.

Devon.  There was a Truman outpost in Devon.

Again the spelling shifted from Trewman to
Truman, but possibly later.  Robert
Trewman began Trewman’s 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
The painter
Herbert Truman came from this tailor family.

London.  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.
became Truman’s 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 1660’s and 1670’s, 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.

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

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

Truman Miscellany

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

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 1950’s and 1960’s

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)




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