Friday, February 27, 2015

Captain William Townsend blog continues...

Dear all Captain William Townsend blog followers,

Last year August, I was fortunate to travel to Brisbane for a few days. Together with my distant cousin Janis Morec-Townsend, we visited Geoff Drew's widow and daughter to pay our respects on behalf of all Captain William Townsend bloggers. 

We also visited the Bald Hill cemetery, where Captain William Townsend and his wife Elisabeth Salmon Thomas are buried and the Toowoong Cemetery where a number of our relatives are buried including Victor Louis Townsend in an unmarked grave, a number members of the Raff family and Shirley Daisy Ferrers. 

We visited Frank Purssell who's wife Gloria Purssell-Carmody was a very active family researcher until her untimely death on 6th March 2013. Her archive is still intact and we do hope Frank will find a suitable destination of the files to secure Gloria's hard work. I visited her grave as well as well as the places Captain William Townsend lived in Sandgate including the “Mango Cottage”, 32 Park Parade, Sandgate.

At the Sandgate Historical Society and Museum I met Fay Hebbard and checked what they have on file.
Sandgate Historical Society and Museum
150 Rainbow Street, Sandgate, 
QLD, Australia, 4017
Phone  07 3869 2283
Business Hours  Wednesdays and Sundays from 10 am to 3pm

With support from the late Geoff Drew's family, I have been added to this blog as editor to keep it in the air. That way we will be able to keep all of Geoff's contributions and those of others.

Next, I will be looking for a few more volunteers to join the editor's committee to secure continuity. As a minimum, I would like to have two based in Europe and two in Australia. Ideally, I am looking for a custodian for each branch of Captain William Townsend's children. 

We have also been fortunate to retrieve the latest Captain William Townsend manuscript Geoff had been working on with the help from blog members.

Similarly to the blog, I intend to seek co-editors, to validate the entries and complement the stories with anecdotes and pictures.
Once the editor's are happy with the quality and completeness, I intend to provide hard-bound copies to family members at cost. 

Publication as e-book will have hurdles to overcome about copyright of the photo's and censorship of people living.

Hope you will continue to support this blog and provide new and interesting anecdotes related to this illustrious family that have spread the globe.

Best wishes,


  1. I only recently discovered this blog when I was doing a search on my late uncle's spouse, Sophia Townsend. I then found that Geoff Drew was also looking for more information. Based on what I found, Sophia migrated to New Zealand in 1951, with two (?) of her brothers and with my uncle Henricus Postma, born in Ermelo in 1924. As far as my mother (Henricus' youngest sister) knows, they married in NZ. My uncle died in a car accident in 1964 and apparently Sophia then moved in with one of her brothers. According to NZ cemetery records, a Sophia Anja Postma is buried in Auckland. That could be her, but the second given name (Anja) puzzles me. I cannot find it in Dutch genealogical data. I'll inform my mother about these findings and will ask her if she knows more.

    Best regards, Erik Post, Groningen, The Netherlands -

  2. Dear Erik,
    Great that you are researching your connections with the Townsend family. At this moment in time, I have no information to share. Please keep us posted on your endeavours.
    Best wishes,

  3. Dear Erik,

    On MyHeritage a Jelle Postma posted the following information about Hendricks Postma:
    First name: Hendricus
    Last name: Postma
    Date of birth: June 15 1924
    Place of birth: Ermelo, Gelderland, Nederland
    Alive: No
    Date of death: Sep 30 1964
    Place of death: Nieuw Zeeland

    If you do find out more info about the Townsend's in New Zealand, please let us know.
    Hope that helps.

    Best wishes,

    1. Sorry for a long break in my investigations. So lets get back where I left you.
      In april 2015 I located "Bertje"Townsend, the widow of Edward Townsend who emigrated to New Zealand in May 1951 with my uncle Henry. My mother had a long phone call with her. I don't know if she is still alive. Her niece, Austin Townsend's daughter, is called Petronella Townsend. She lives in/near Auckland. If you send me a private email at, I can provide you with her e-mail address. Best regards, Erik