Master Surname Index




Ancestry of
Robert Townsend

Member of the Culper Spy Ring during the American Revolution


    Robert Townsend

    View famous kin of Robert Townsend

    • 1st Generation
    • Ahnentafel No:
    • Birth Date:
    • 25 Nov 1753 
    • Birth Location:
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    • Christening Date:
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    • Christening Location:
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    • Death Date:
    • 7 Mar 1838 
    • Death Location:
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    • Burial Date:
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    • Burial Location:
    • Fort Hill Cemetery, Oyster Bay, Nassau, New York 
    • Notes: 
    • Robert Townsend was a member of the Culper spy ring during the American Revolutionary War. His involvment in the spy ring was discovered in 1929 by New York historican Morton Pennypacker. Pennypacker was able to use handwriting analysis to reveal that the mysterious spy known as Samuel Culper, Junior, was in fact Robert Townsend. The Culper Spy ring is said to have been instrumental in the disclosure of the Benedict Arnold and John Andre plot to surrender West Point and the attempted capture of General George Washington in 1780.

      Robert Townsend never married, but he did have an illegitimate son with his housekeeper Mary Banvard. His son was named Robert Townsend Jr. There has been some speculation that Mary Banvard wasn't the boy's mother, and that it was the spy known as 355 that was the real mother. But this is not true as it has since been proven that Mary Banvard is his real mother.

  • Marriages for Robert Townsend


    • Spouse:
    • Marie Marguerite "Mary" Banvard
    • Marriage Date:
    • NOT MARRIED

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  • Sources for Robert Townsend

    • 2 New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, 1995, Vol. 126, No.1, pp. 25-34.
    • 3 New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, 1995, Vol. 126, No. 3, p. 192.
    • 4 New York: Long Island Cemetery Inscriptions, 1652-1910, Vol. 12, p. 79.
    • 6 Thompson, Benjamin F., The History of Long Island; from Its Discovery and Settlement, to the Present Time, Vol. 2, New York: Gould, Banks and Co. (1843), 347.