Truman Surname Meaning, History & Origin

Select Truman Meaning
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

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.

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.

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

Truman Trueman
Cheshire     20    170
Derbyshire    120    150
Lancashire    100    130
Nottinghamshire    270    130
Yorkshire     60    240
Devon    120     10
London    210    120
Elsewhere    700    950
Total   1,600   1,900

Trumans in New London, Connecticut.  Jonathan Truman
wrote the following in his note-book in 1822:

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
who was named Joseph, came to America from England (Nottinghamshire),
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.”

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
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
Morgan either for that matter in ‘the line’ I’m satisfied.”

Truman occasionally received inquiries from people interested in his
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

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.

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.

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
, the home of the Truemans
back in Yorkshire.


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 Truman/Trueman Numbers 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)


Select Truman/Trueman and Like Surnames

Some surnames have originated from the English Midlands – the swathe of countryside which covers such counties as Warwickshire, Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.  These are some of the noteworthy surnames that you can check out.




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