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Inspiring Biography of Jon Townsend (Townsends)

Jon Townsend is a popular YouTuber.

He has more than 2.2M subscribers on his YouTube channel, ‘Townsends.’

Jon is also a cook, historian, reenactor and businessman.


Jonathan Townsend was born in 1966 and hails from Pierceton, Indiana, United States.

He grew up with 18th century things and helped his father in the business.

Even though Jon attended Purdue University to study electrical engineering, he dropped out of university and started working in his father’s business.

His father, Jim Townsend, was a businessman and founded Jas. Townsend & Son Inc. in 1973.

Jas. Townsend & Son Inc. is an e-commerce company which manufactures and retails 18th and early 19th century clothing and personal accessories.

Currently, Jon is the proprietor of Jas. Townsend & Son Inc.

A little about the company-

Jas. Townsend & Son Inc. was started in 1973 and by 1980, the company pivoted to making revolutionary war time reenactors.

After researching, Jim Townsend started manufacturing camping equipment, tricorn hats, outfits, shirts, pants, shoes, etc.

Later, Jon joined the company and he too started researching the historical products in order to manufacture them and thanks to this, he learnt a great deal about history.

‘Townsends’ YouTube channel-

On 24 December 2008, Jon started his YouTube channel ‘Townsends.’

Initially, he was publishing instructional product videos of the products that were sold by his company.

Jon did this as he believed that it was easier to explain to consumers about the usage of products through YouTube videos rather than explaining on telephone.

He continued working on YouTube hoping that if any of his videos become viral, they would help him sell more products of his company.

Even before starting the YouTube channel, Jon worked on a few video projects.

Even after working on his YouTube channel for many years, it wasn’t a profitable venture for him but thanks to his love for video production, he continued publishing videos.

At that time, Jon believed that YouTube would turn profitable in the future which later thankfully did.

Teaching history through cooking-

After making a few instructional videos of the products, Jon realised that it would be better for him to teach more people history and for this, he chose cooking with a focus on the culinary history.

On 31 October 2011, he published his first cooking video titled- ’18th Century Soldier’s Rations – Cooking Series at Jas Townsend and Son S1E1.’

Initially, Jon published a few videos on soldier’s rations which became very popular and later, he built his German kitchen and started shooting cooking videos in it and shifted his focus from soldier’s rations to cooking as in normal households.

Many of his cooking videos started becoming popular.

Jon built his German kitchen after being inspired by the kitchen of the 18th century German house in the Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton, Virginia.

He repurposed half of his outbuilding which was an abandoned chicken house to German kitchen and he uses the other half of the building for the camera work.

Love for 18th century-

Jon loves 18th century history especially in relation to North America and is fascinated by the Industrial Revolution and the immigration which occurred in the 18th century and also the daily lives of people in the 18th century.

He believes that learning history can help better understand and prepare for the future.

On his YouTube channel, Jon mainly focuses on 18th century cooking.

Also, through his company, he sells 18th century clothing and personal accessories and as of 2022, his company has around 30 employees.

Jon researches about the 18th century foods by reading journals like that of Alexander Hamilton, etc. and reads the 18th century English, French and American cookbooks.

Also, he tries to research and cook the 18th century ancestors of the modern dishes and he also visits the historic sites to experience the history and also reads the 18th century diaries and manuals and interacts with experts and historians.

First viral video & branching out-

Thanks to the success of his initial cooking videos, Jon started consistently publishing videos onto his YouTube channel.

On 21 June 2016, he published a video titled- Fried Chicken In The 18th Century? 300 Year Old Recipe and this was the first viral video of his channel.

This video got one million views within a day and greatly helped in the success of the Townsends YouTube channel.

After publishing around 200 cooking videos, Jon decided to branch out the content and started producing content related to log cabin, canoe project, etc. along with the cooking videos.

A successful YouTuber-

As of November 2023, he has 2.27M subscribers on ‘Townsends’ YouTube channel, 34.1K followers on Instagram and 58K followers on ‘Townsends’ Facebook page.

Jon earns through a variety of sources like advertisements on his YouTube videos, selling goods of his company, affiliate marketing and he also receives donations through Patreon.

He hasn’t revealed his net worth.

Aaron helps him as a video editor and Ryan Kerr helps him as a producer for his YouTube channel and is also the shopkeeper at Jas. Townsend.

Ryan appeared in a few of his YouTube videos and also plays background music.

Jon also has a second YouTube channel, ‘Townsends Journal,’ where he publishes research and behind the scenes of his main channel.

He, through his website sells various merchandise and books like Colonial Comfort Foods, A New And Easy Method Of Cookery, etc.

Currently, he doesn’t have a Wikipedia page.

Love for Nutmeg-

Nutmeg was extensively used in the 18th century as a spice in various foods ranging from meat dishes, oatmeal, scrambled eggs to desserts.

As Jon mainly focuses on 18th century cooking, he naturally fell in love with nutmeg.

Personal life-

Jon is married to Whitney and she was a bookkeeper of the store.

This couple has three daughters, Cydney, Lauren and Ivy.

Ivy appeared in a few of Jon’s YouTube videos.

Some interesting facts about Jon Townsend-

  • Jon is a proficient photographer and a technophile.
  • He loves DIY projects and is also interested in blacksmithing.
  • In one of his YouTube videos, Jon interviewed Cowboy Kent Rollins, a famous YouTuber focusing on cowboy cooking.
  • His videos not only inspired many into trying historic cooking but his videos are also being played by the history teachers in the classrooms.
  • Whitepot is Jon’s favourite recipe and he is an introvert.
  • His business also supplies clothing and historic items to Hollywood movies and television shows.
  • The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy is his favourite cookbook.

So, how are you inspired by the success story of Jon Townsend?

Share with me in the comment section below.

About Author

Hello folks, I'm Naveen Reddy.
I love writing the inspiring success stories of people so as to inspire you.
Enjoy the well-researched, thorough articles!
Every article takes many days of effort; so, why not pay it forward by sharing them and spreading positivity.

Eustace Fleer

Sunday 23rd of April 2023

The YouTube channel is wonderful!

Naveen Reddy

Sunday 23rd of April 2023

Thanks Eustace, for your positive comment!