Thursday, January 21, 2010

Sandgate Museum files on William Townsend

Yesterday, I had a look in our files and we do have some information on the Townsend family. Of great interest are the wills of William Townsend and Elizabeth Salmon (Thomas) Townsend. There are also some death certificates, and past compilations of the man's history, as then known.

Of greatest interest was the statement in William's will that Elizabeth Salmon Thomas was his second cousin, and that he had a "bona fide belief" that his second wife was deceased at the time he married Elizabeth. I suppose that just shows what you could get away with at the time if you were a local community pillar. The very fact that he felt he needed to state this in his will shows that he had doubts as to the veracity of his statement, I feel.

Anyhow, I will sit down with the files and add in missing information (such as dates of marriages and the like). I think a transcription of the wills will be interesting.


  1. Whilst in Padang, Sumatra, Nederlands Oost-Indië, William TOWNSEND was one of the six founding members of the Free Mason's Lodge "Mata Hari" in Padang. He was ranked "1e opziener" on 14th May 1859 ("DE INDISCHE NAVORSCHER" Jaargang 8 (1995)).
    Many of his children in Padang had jobs as civil servant. It was striking that there was such large social differences as many had relative low ranked jobs, like prison warden, clerk at the city gate in contrast to others who held positions a notary, army captain and "Assistent Resident".[]

    According to the narrated family history:

    "William TOWNSEND left England in 1866 with his five youngest children for Australia on the "Netherby". He took his second cousin Elizabeth Salmon THOMAS with him on his journey, probably to look after the children. He was shipwrecked on King Island Victoria. They settled in Brighton House near Brisbane. He obtained a special license to marry Elisabeth after having declared his second wife dead."

    William TOWNSEND married Elisabeth Salmon THOMAS in Brackenridge, London, England on 20 Feb 1872.

    Elisabeth Salmon THOMAS died of livercancer.

  2. Corrrection:

    William TOWNSEND married Elisabeth Salmon THOMAS in Brackenridge, Queensland, Australia on 20 Feb 1872.

    Yes, at that time Sandgate and Brighton had only, from memory, the First Baptist Church and maybe the Methodist Church. William was part of the committee that established St Margaret's Anglican Church in Sandgate.

  3. Dear Geoff,

    I just discovered your blog and found out that somehow we are related to each other. My grandmother was Antoinette Henriette Sadee, born 22-08-1896 in Padang, died 13-4-1987 (so not 13-3-1987 as mentioned on the site) in The Hague, the Netherlands. She was married to my grandfather, Albertus Franciscus Reinierus Kleyn, born in Amsterdam in 1896, died in 1963 in Switzerland. They had 1 daughter, Clementine Tunette, born 22-08-1922 in Batavia en died 24-11-2011 in Eindhoven, The Netherlands. She was my mother. My mother was married to Herman Valken, 27-10-1949, who was born 12-09-1922, died 05-09-2006. They got 3 daughters: Lily Roberte Valken, born 12-11-1950, Annette Marjolein Valken, born 06-08-1953 and myself, Renée Petra Florine, born 18-08-1958. Annette got 2 children, a twin Can and Meral, born 08-10-1994. I myself got married to Gerard Hoogers and got 2 daughters: Florine Lily Annette, born 17-04-1990 and Valérie Anna Clementine, born 01-04-1992. My grandmother, Antoinette Henriette Sadee, was the daughter of Clementine Cecilia Antoinetta Elink-Schuurman, born 16 October 1862 in Padang and died in 1924. She was married to Karel Constant Hubert Sadee. This Clementine was the daughter of Marie Augusta Townsend, born 3-10-1842 Padang, died 16-6-1926 Padang. So this is my great great grandmother.

    So there is another piece of your and our history. I do hope you can use this information.

    Kind regards,

    Renée Hoogers-Valken