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The Twyman surname is one that can be found in many parts of the world - for the most part areas formerly part of the British Empire, as one might expect. 

When investigating the background to the surname, though, the logical place to start would be in England, where the first examples of the surname can be seen back in the 16th century in Kent.

Indeed as can be seen in the map of England to the left (image 1), the largest concentration of Twymans in 1881 could indeed still be found in Kent (with 280 of the total 456 individuals appearing on that census living in the county of Kent that year) - supporting this view that indeed the surname is a Kentish one.  The next largest populations of Twymans can be found in the London area (with 70 individuals in Middlesex & 29 in Surrey on the 1881 census), which is not too surprising  as one would expect economic migrants from the South East of England to travel to London first and foremost even today.  What is significant is that there is also a relatively large population of Twymans to be found in Hampshire (more specifically in the Isle of Wight and the Southampton area just across the Solent), where there are 36 individuals living in 1881.  While this, admittedly, doesn't sound like many and represents a handful of families, it is significant that this is the third-largest population of Twymans in England in 1881 - and indeed it is worth noting that there is a high population of the similarly-spelt Twynam (itself perhaps derivative of Twynham etc) in the area historically, perhaps indicating a connection between this closely-spelt surname and the Twyman population in Hants.

Indeed today while certainly the surname is more-widely spread through the country than in 1881, as indeed one would expect, it is notable that Kent still shows the most significant population of Twymans - indeed showing a continuation from that seen historically, where the Canterbury & Thanet areas have always shown the most significant populations.

Of note is that while England does show a relatively-handsome population of Twymans (with 764 individuals in England as of 2014), this does pale in comparison to those found in the United States - where as of 2014 there were 3326 individuals with the surname in the US.  This is significant, as there are two main roots for those Twyman families in the US: those who descend from the George Twyman who went to Virginia as an indentured servant in the 17th century, and those whose ancestors were subjugated into slavery by his descendants.  Today there are remarkably few states in which there isn't a population of Twymans, but historically (as perhaps one would expect) the vast majority of Twymans in the States appear in the southern States - most notably in Virginia (with 232 of the total 591 individuals on the 1880 census), Kentucky (with 149 individuals in 1880), and Missouri (with 68 individuals in 1880).  The next three largest blocks of Twymans appear then in neighbouring states: with a further 46 individuals in West Virginia; 40 individuals in Illinois; and 16 individuals in Ohio.  This spread of Twymans throughout the southern States can be seen in the map below (image 2).

(Image 1: Map of England showing the distribution of Twymans in England, as per figures from the 1881 Census.)


There is also evident a further collection of Twymans within the New England states, radiating out from New York - and indeed today there appears a significant number of Twymans in both New York, and further south in Pennsylvania.  Of course, though, as you see across the Atlantic in England, the States also sees an explosion of Twymans in every state - to the point where as mentioned, there are remarkably few states in which there isn't a Twyman family in the 21st century.

Outside of England & the United States, there are also significant concentrations of Twymans in a number of areas of the world.  Most notable are those found in Australia (where there are 169 individuals living as of 2014 - historically with most appearing in New South Wales); in Canada (with 131 individuals in 2014); in New Zealand (with 73 individuals in 2014); and in the countries of southern Africa (with 128 individuals in South Africa itself in 2014, as well as a further 203 in neighbouring Namibia).

Most surprisingly, there also appears to be a relatively noticeable population of Twymans in Chile, where as of 2014 there are 99 individuals living.

It is also worth noting that while back in 1881 there are no Twymans to be found in the UK outside of England, by 2014 there appear 3 Twymans living in Wales and 43 individuals living in Scotland - all of whom have presumably moved to these other areas of the UK as either economic migrants, or as the descendants of economic migrants.

(Image 2: Map of the United States showing the distribution of Twymans in the US, as per figures from the 1880 Census.)


Last Updated: 5th August 2015