The Trewins Tree

Photo:Mr Henry Trewin and his wife at home

Mr Henry Trewin and his wife at home

JLP Archive Collection

The history of the Trewins family name

By Jean Gilchrist

Cornish Roots
Arthur Trewin born 1855 in Morewenstow, Stratton, to Jane and Arthur Trewin, was the driving force behind Trewin Brothers Ltd.

Most of the Trewin family lived in a small area east of Bude. Places like Michaelstow, Kirkhampton, Poughill, North Hill Launceston, Lewannick and Camelford, frequently crop up.  His younger Brother Henry, born 1860, had joined him in the business by 1891, according to the Census.  Arthur had been a Drapers' apprentice when he was 16 years old, (1871 Census.)  He did not marry but he was a family man, gradually bringing his widowed mother and unmarried sisters to Watford, to assist him with the business.

All the Trewins were agricultural labourers and farmers except for Arthur who had broken the mould, and his cousin Frederick Thomas Trewin.  He was a son of Thomas Trewin, (Arthur senior's brother,) who had trained as a veterinary surgeon and had joined Arthur in Watford in 1900.  Firstly he lived in Queens Road with Arthur at the shop premises with the same telephone number as the shop and then moved his vets practice in 1920, to Essex Chambers, Clarendon Road as Trewin & Barr.  Subsequently he joined with Mr Gale and moved to Parkside, Cassiobury Park, which is still a vets practice today.

Family Names
Arthur Trewin's family contains surprisingly few surnames, as years ago Cornish families tended to marry within a limited area.  Often the man would leave his village, go to a large city and then return to marry a local girl.   The Trewin family therefore married   into the Brown, Peters and Stanton families.  Arthurs' mother Jane Trewin nee Bastard (an old Cornish name,) came from Michaelstow and died in Watford in 1892.  The Trewin name goes back to John Trewin (sometimes spelt Treweene) 1480 -1520.  I  have  traced him directly to Arthur Trewin of Trewin Brothers.  One of Arthurs' unmarried sisters, Elizabeth, came to help him run the shop and married in Watford in 1895, one Francis Northey, a farmer from Truro.  She went back to Truro to be a farmer's wife.  He was 40, she 47.

Houses in Watford
From the telephone directories of Watford, we learn that Henry moved out of the shop premises in Queens Road and into his own house - Brentnor - in Derby Road in 1905.  In 1924 he lived at 86 Mildred Avenue, (now Jenkins & Co.)  Henry  moved to Morwenna, Parkside Drive in 1927.  He also had a house in Oxfordshire, Coldstream at Middle Wallop.  This house is not listed in the telephone directory until 1935.  Arthur meanwhile moved to Brentnor, Derby Road in 1929.  Frederick Trewin the veterinary, lived at 12 Upton Road in 1947.

Telephone Numbers
Numbers changed through the years.  In 1895, Trewins was Watford 33, becoming 0298 in 1900. By 1927 it was Watford 1234, (surely the best number.)  1960 saw Queens Road listed as Watford 27281 and 20 Queens Road as Watford 34064, with a separate entry for the restaurant in Queens Road being 21120.  By 1981 it was Watford 44266 and later changed to the now familiar 244266.

This page was added by Judy Faraday on 25/09/2007.
Comments about this page

The telephone had already changed to 44266 by September 1975, when I started to work there.

By Michael Horniman
On 02/10/2007

My grandfather was Henry Trewin who had two sons, Gordon Trewin and Arthur Leslie Trewin who was my father.

Thank you for the family information, much of it I did not know.  I intend to start researching my family tree and you have given me a good start.  I am afraid that there is little further information that I can give you.  I have only a few recollections of things my father told me regarding his childhood living over the shop.  Once again thank you.

By John Trewin
On 29/03/2008

Looking through some bills in the archive I noticed that the phone number had already changed to 44266 in 1970. A bit earlier than previously thought.  It was still 27281 in 1966.

By Jo Spence
On 22/04/2008

As a Trewin with common ancestors I would love to see the early (1480-1520) records, as these would be mine as well. Could this material be posted?
Great site!

By Bruce Trewin
On 29/07/2008

I live in Adelaide, South Australia and am also tracing the Trewin family. I would love to see the early details.  I have details back to circa 1561 with John Trewin who on 28.5.1581 married Joan ?

By Doug Hooper
On 06/08/2008

I come from a long line of Trewins and we can date our family back to the mid 16th century when one of the family married one of the members of the Courtenay family who were the then Earls of Devon. My great grandfather John Trewin was a sea captain in the Merchant navy, my grandfather was the writer and journalist John Courtenay Trewin (Born in Plymouth in 1908), my father was the writer, publisher and journalist Ion Courtenay Gill Trewin, I am Simon Courtenay Trewin married to Helen Adie. Our son is Jack Courtenay Trewin. I have never met another Trewin! The name I gather means 'the man who lives at the white farmhouse'.

By Simon Trewin
On 21/09/2017

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