by their descendants.
Townsend & family
The story of: Captain William Townsend Esquire & family: His children from first marriage -
Isabella Rachel 14 yrs, Mary Catherine 12 yrs, Edwin James 17yrs, George Robert 16 yrs, Victor Louis 10 yrs.
And: Miss Elizabeth Salmon Thomas, 26 years. 2nd cousin and future wife of the Captain.
Click on the image to visit a fantastic blog site about the Townsend genealogy.
Click on the above PDF for an excerpt from the History of Bracken Ridge that mentions Capt Townsend. See the whole website HERE. Click on the PDF for a publication about the history of the Brighton and Sandgate region, featuring mentions of Capt Townsend. Trove details HERE.
William Townsend's descendants Brian Townsend (and wife Raelene) from Queensland, and Thomas Helmer from Belgium, attended the 150th commemorations on King Island between 14 & 17 July 2016.
Brian Townsend, descendant of Netherby Gazette co-editor, William Townsend gave the following reading at the King Island Town Hall on 14 July 2016 exactly 150 years after the shipwreck. He repeated the reading at Netherby Cove during the service there on the morning of 17 July 2016.
Good evening fellow shipwreck survivor descendants, your families and others. My wife and I arrived yesterday and the power was out and it wasn’t restored until about 3.30pm this afternoon and that made me think that perhaps the spirits of our ancestors had something to do with trying to emulate how they felt. Anyway my great-great grandfather, retired sea captain William Townsend was a saloon passenger with the youngest of his children and other family. He was the co-editor of the Netherby Gazette and I am honoured to read to you from that document.
We now bring before you all the first Number of a Paper which we intend to publish weekly. It is entitled “The Netherby Gazette,” in honour of the ship in which we are crossing the deep. We have chosen two mottos – the first, “Reason contents me,” because it is that of the ship Netherby, and also as it is very suitable to our position, for we hope our friends will be reasonable, and not expect too much from us, as this is our first attempt to edit a paper. And further, it may be useful to us all if we bear the same in mind, and exercise a reasonable and contented spirit with whatever may befall us when we arrive in the country of our adoption. The second motto is – “Ex nihilo nihil fit.” This we consider also very appropriate; for if we make an effort to start a paper for the benefit of all on board, with nothing bearing any interest, amusement, or instruction, it would, as a matter of course, die a natural death; but. If we are supported by the community at large, by their endeavouring to the best of their abilities to supply us with the daily gossip, mishaps, and other events, which would afford amusement and instruction to all, we hope to be able to continue the same until our arrival at Brisbane. We must, however, impress upon the minds of those who will lend us their aid, to condense as much as possible the matter they intend to favour us with; for, as all must be written, copied, and re-copied, it will necessarily entail much labour and consume much time. We must further mention that all correspondence containing personal remarks and unreasonable complaints will be strictly rejected; for we do not wish our paper to become the medium of discord, discontent, or the engendering of unpleasant feelings between parties. With these preliminary remarks, we make our bow, and commence our (Weekly Summary).
Brian also gave the following speech at the King Island Town Hall on 17 July 2016 during a section of the commemorations where descendants told stories about their ancestors.
A Personal Story from Sunday 17 July 2017 about Captain William Townsend
I came to King Island armed with an A4 page of the exploits of my Great Great Grandfather, Retired Sea Captain William Townsend, once he arrived in Brisbane.
On Thursday night, here, after the formal speeches, I met my Dutch cousin, Thomas Helmer, who has flown here from Belgium. He handed me a 95 page bound book about Townsend Family history. I also met members of the Martin Family from Canberra, friends of David Townsend, who had prepared six pages about his Great Grandfather, William Townsend’s exploits. David, is the brother of Simon Townsend, from “Simon Townsend’s Wonder World”. So we are related after all.
I would like to read some extracts from the 1956 Journal of “The Historical Society of Queensland”
•In 1867 a freehold title in Brighton was purchased by William Townsend for 1154 pounds. It is evident that there was far more land than where the Brighton Hotel now stands. He sold that property and moved to Shorncliffe in 1882. He took a prominent part in public affairs. •The Queensland National Bank opened for business in 1872. Captain William Townsend was prominently connected with the initiation of this Bank, and was one of those who signed the prospectus for its establishment. At a meeting in 1873 he was elected as one of its Auditors. •In 1873 the Government Gazette announced that Captain William Townsend was to be a member of the Marine Board. • A Post Office directory in 1874 informs us that he was a Justice of the Peace. My Grandfather and my Father before me were also Justices of the Peace, and myself and our Daughter Rebecca are still practicing as JP’s •The Sandgate State School booklet 1873 to 1953 states that it opened in 1873 with 47 pupils and Captain William Townsend was treasurer. •He relinquished his public positions due to a serious affliction of his eyes, which culminated in total blindness and died in 1893 aged 83.
His Grandson, Claude, who was my Grandfather, at one stage, was Headmaster of Cribb Island State School. Amongst his students was a family of four brothers and a sister by the name of Gibb. Three of them became the Bee Gees.
18 October 1917: The Bulletin