This gentleman was a significant public figure of Sandgate in 1870s and 1880s. However, a chance discussion at the Sandgate and District Historical Society's museum one day revealed that we did not know a lot about the man, especially his life before he migrated to Queensland.
I decided to rectify this, and along the way discovered many interesting things. Firstly, most of the really good information on his early life was contained in Dutch genealogical websites; the reason for this will become apparent in subsequent posts. Secondly, there was another William Townsend, of Adelaide, who was consistently grabbing the headlines over the period that "our" William was active in Queensland.
I will leave you with that 'teaser', and slowly build a picture of the man and his descendants in subsequent posts.