Notable Twymans

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WILLIAM TWIMAN

A CALIVER OF BIRCHINGTON

William Twiman/Twyman is notable in that he's the earliest confirmed individual linked into the Twyman family tree - being born presumably in Kent some time around the 1560s.  What is known of him is that he lived & worked in the ville of Birchington on the Isle of Thanet, where he is noted as a "caliver" in the muster rolls - a caliver being a form of firearm, similar to a musket.

He was to marry Margareta Jenkin in 1586, with whom he fathered nine children: eight of whom survived to marry & have families of their own.  He is, also, notably cited in the Kent Quarter Sessions in 1597/8 as being the alleged father of a a child born to Widow Atgoe, and it is indeed notable there appears a Fortune Twiman (the daughter of William) in the parish registers for Birchington that year, suggesting that indeed this was true & that Fortune was the child in question.

William passed away in 1615, and was buried in the grounds of All Saints' Church in Birchington on the 10th April that year - having left behind a number of children & grandchildren.

HENRY TWIMAN

A WOOLEN DRAPER OF CANTERBURY

Henry Twiman/Twyman (known in his lifetime as Henry Twiman the Elder, to differentiate himself from his son and heir of the same name) was born in Margate in 1604: the son of Zacharye Twiman.  He was heavily involved in the woolen industry during his lifetime, in which he was evidently quite successful - as he left a significant sum of money in his Will of 1666, and was responsible for the building of the so-called manor house at Rushborne near Westbere.  This manor house is still extant today, and is a remarkable building.  He was to also serve as Mayor of Canterbury in 1655.

He married a number of times: firstly to Frances Branker in 1628/9; secondly to Hester Farrar in 1632/3; and finally Susanna Than in 1650/1.  In total he left behind twelve children (two from his first marriage, and the remaining eight from his second), but remarkably has no living direct male descendants - his last descendant bearing his surname (the Rev. Wheeler Twyman) passing away in 1779.

He passed away in 1669, leaving behind his surviving children & a number of grandchildren.

GEORGE TWYMAN

AN INDENTURED SERVANT IN VIRGINIA

George Twyman was born somewhere around 1660, and is known firstly from an appearance in the court records in Virginia in 1677 - where he is noted at the age of 16 as having travelled aboard The Recovery from England to work as the indentured servant to Mr. Thomas Lee.  He later appears in the same court records 2-years later as having absented himself from his master's service, and how his length of service was extended as a form of punishment.

It is not known how long he remained in service to Thomas Lee, but one would presume that he was his own man by 1697 - as he married Catherine Montague that year in Middlesex Co., and with her father four children: all of whom survived to have families of their own.

He sadly passed away in 1703, but is notable for being the alleged progenitor of a significant number of the Twyman families in America today.

JOHN CROWE TWYMAN

PHOTOGRAPHIC ARTIST

John Crowe Twyman was born in Ramsgate in Kent in 1817, the son of John Twyman & Charlotte Crowe - from whom he gets his middle name.  While christened in an Anglican Church, John Crowe Twyman converted to Judaism sometime in his early life - presumably by 1837, when he married Rosetta Aaron Jessell in a synagogue in London.

He is known to have been unlucky in business for many years, as is noted in a relatively high-profile bankruptcy case in 1853 - in which he was falsely accused as having taken out loans knowing he was unable to pay.  Whatever the nature of his business dealings, it is apparent that later in life he became a successful photographic artist, and is perhaps best known for his portrait of Sir Moses Montefiore - the well-known philanthropist.  Indeed John Crowe Twyman & his family were well known & connected to Sir Moses Montefiore, and newspaper reports tell of the involvement of the Twymans in the funeral of the afore-mentioned philanthropist.

Other reports of John Crowe Twyman report of the anti-Semitism to which he, and indeed other members of the Jewish community, were subjected too - mainly in connection to Twyman having retaliated on occasion, and having been fined for assault relating to such fracas.

Together with his wife, John Crowe Twyman has eight children: some of whom followed him into being artists.

FRANK TWYMAN

MANAGING DIRECTOR OF "ADAM HILGER LTD" & SCIENTIST

Born in 1876 in Canterbury in Kent, Frank Twyman was the son of George Edmund Twyman & Jane le Fevre.  His father owned a successful linen & sack weaving business in Canterbury, and Frank appears to have had a very good education - as he went on to become a "scientific instrument maker", as is well known for being the managing director of Adam Hilger Ltd. (a successful optics company) and President of the Optics Society.  He is perhaps best known for, along with Arthur Green, introducing the Twyman-Green Interferometer - a device principally used to test optical components.

He was to marry Phillipine Katherine Elizabeth Hilger (daughter of Otto Hilger - co-founder of the company which Twyman was to become managing director to) in 1906 - and together they had four children.

In 1956 Frank Twyman was to write a book ("An East Kent Family") - a book which consists of basically a brief background of his family, as well serving as his own autobiography.

He sadly passed away in 1959, leaving behind his widow & children.

 

(Image 1: Photograph of Frank Twyman, taken c.1953.)

ROBERT JOSEPH TWYMAN

CONGRESSMAN

Born in Indianapolis in 1897, Robert Joseph Twyman was the son of James Elder Twyman & Sadie Splann.  He is best known for being elected as a Republican Congressman to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1947.  During his time in Congress, Robert Twyman introduced a bill honouring Sweedish-Americans - for which he was awarded a medal from the Sweedish government.  Unfortunately he was unsuccessful in his bid for re-election in the 1948 Congressional elections, and following this he returned to his pre-politics business interests - as president of the Thomas Hoist Company, which supplied construction & industrial lifts.

He sadly passed away in Florida in 1976.

JOHN KENNEDY "JACK" TWYMAN

PROFESSIONAL BASKETBALL PLAYER

"Jack" Twyman was born in Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania in 1934, and is best known for his career as a professional basketball player - having played in the NBA for 11-years as a member of the Rochester/Cincinnati Royals.  Jack Twyman is doubly noted as being one of the first players (along with Wilt Chamberlain) to average more than 30 points per game in a single season, which the pair both accomplished during the 1959-60 season.  During the course of his career Jack Twyman scored a total of 15,840 points, ranking him at 20th on the NBA all-time scoring list at the time of his retirement.

Following his retirement from playing professional basketball, Jack Twyman had a successful career working alongside Chris Schenkel as an analyst and commentator for ABC's basketball coverage.

Aside from his sports career, Jack Twyman is perhaps best known for his humanitarian efforts as legal guardian of his team-mate Maurice Stokes - who was sadly paralysed following a head injury sustained during a game.  In order to help raise money for Stokes and other former NBA players in need, Jack Twyman was to organise the Maurice Stokes Memorial Basketball Game - an annual event, that eventually came to be replaced by a pro-am gold tournament.

Jack Twyman sadly passed away in 2012, but both he & his team-mate Stokes are commemorated & honoured with an annual award in their name - The Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award.

(Image 2: Photograph of Jack Twyman)

Last Updated: 13th April 2016