Thursday, June 10, 2010

I Haven't been Idle

As the digitised newspaper issues edge further and further into the 20th Century, I have been picking up bits and pieces of information about the Queensland Townsend families. A marriage here, a death or birth there, some useful snippets in obituaries.

For example, Jessie Jane Sinclair Townsend had been a journalist before her marriage and her mother had been the adopted daughter of the man who started the first newspaper in the Colony of Queensland.

Edwin Louis Townsend, who died tragically of a fracture skull in 1913, had two years earlier been sentenced to 6 months imprisonment for horse stealing, although the evidence was, by today's standards, very weak and circumstantial. Then again, it did also seem that he had tried to legitimise his ownership of the horse by forging a receipt for its purchase and he was lucky not to be charged with perjury as well.

His father, Victor Louis Townsend, had been declared insolvent in the 1890s, but by 1916 he had been appointed Bailiff for Beenleigh, and was himself seizing the assets of bankrupts and auctioning them off. It seems that Victor Louis' great claim to fame was his prize-winning poultry.

I also came across the report of the funeral of Dr Shirley, Victor's father-in-law. The list of attendees includes many of the rich and powerful of the day.

1 comment:

  1. Dear all of you interested in this thread. I have been slow to generate new information, however, I finally managed to obtain copies of the following book:"Voorvaderen: kroniek van een familie II, In de Oost", Dolphi Andrée Wiltens, 2008, Den Haag. This book was published in a very limited edition of only 65 numbered copies. As the name of the author may suggest, it covers the family of Andrée Wiltens from 1836 as Henri Maximiliaan ANDRéE WILTENS travels on board of the corvette "Castor" to Netherlands East Indies at the age of only thirteen to establish himself and earn money for his impoverished family. The book cover three generations of Andrée Wiltens’ ends when the family re-unites in 1946 in The Netherlands for their first post-war Christmas. This week, I have the pleasure of meeting the author, who donated all her source material to the KITLV - Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies at Leiden, The Netherlands. The book is written predominantly in Dutch. The letters of Euphemia to her children and other family members are in English. It contains several references to captian William Townsend and family worth of mention to this site. If I get the permission from the author and can find the time, I will extract the relevant information about the Townsend family link from the book and post it here.