Monday, December 14, 2009

William Townsend and Adeline Jessey Maidman

William and Adeline were married in Padang, West Sumatra, on 18th June 1864. Adeline was born in Padang on 19th September 1836, and died in Batavia (Jakarta), on 23 May 1926. Adeline was the daughter of John Butter Maidman and Johanna Maria Terhoeff.

William and Adeline had one child, a daughter, Letitia Wilhelmine, born in Padang on 31st March 1865. What happened next is open to conjecture, but just over a year after Letitia’s birth we find William and six children from his marriage to Clementina boarding the “Netherby” in London bound for Brisbane.

We must assume that the “Mrs William Townsend” referred to in the Brisbane Courier's Social Gossip column in 1896 is Adeline because of the length of residence in Jakarta, the reference to “her daughter and grandchildren” and that Mr G R Townsend of Indooroopilly is is identified as her step-son. Clearly, cordial relations were maintained with at least part of the family. A look at William’s will could also reveal a reason for the visit.

Letitia Wilhelmine Townsend was married to Karel van Erpecum on 28th May 1884 at Padang.

  • Theresia Louise van Erpecum (1885 - 1960)
  • Karel van Erpecum (1886 - 1917)
  • Laurens van Erpecum (1888 - 1954)
  • Gerrit Willem van Erpecum (1891 - 1892)
  • Willem van Erpecum (1894 - 1924)
More about these descendants in due course.

Letitia died in Batiavia (Jakarta) on 19th September 1934.

Brisbane Courier, 2 May 1896


  1. In his will, William Townsend states that when he married Elizabeth Salmon Thomas (his second cousin) he did so in the "bona fide belief that his former wife had passed away, not having heard news of her for seven years".

  2. I have sighted a copy of the document sent from Padang affirming that Adeline Jessy (sic) was still alive. I hope to one day view the letter that Euphemia Clementina (Townsend) Andree Wiltens sent to her brother George Robert Townsend after she heard that her father had gone though a bigamous marriage.