Thomas Townsend (339)

Date of Birth: 1824
Date of Death: 7 Jun 1913
Generation: 7th
Residence: Canowindra, NSW, Australia
Father: Lieut Thomas Townsend RN [319]
Mother: Freke, Helena
  1. Gain, Eliza
  1. Edward [374]
  2. Richard [375]
  3. John [376]
  4. George [377]
  5. Eleanor (Helena?) [378]
  6. Katherine [379]
  7. James [388]
  8. Eliza Jane [389]
See Also: Table III ; Scrapbook ; Lineage ; Ancestors' Tree ; Descendents' Tree

Notes for Thomas Townsend. See also

Thomas was born in Baltimore, Co Cork, and emigrated to Australia about 1842, some thirteen years after his distant cousin Jonas Morris Townsend [237].

Married 30 April 1852 at Geelong, Victoria to Eliza Gain who was born in 1833 in Herefordshire, England to George Gain and Catherine Wilson (1).

Following some six years in Tasmania, Thomas moved to Victoria and by 1850 he was working for Dugald McPherson at Nhill, the name of which is said to be an aboriginal word meaning "the place of a spirit,". It was first seen by Dugald in 1844. who purchased it for £70 in 1850. It was a very valuable 'run' "consisting of fine undulating country, lightly timbered with buloke (species of ironwood native to Australia), which supports the present large farming population".

Following his marriage some years previously, Dugald and his wife left Nhill station in 1854 as she found the pioneering life too much for her; Thomas was left as the manager and he gave Eliza's parents and younger brother work on the station.

In about 1860 Thomas left Nhill having acquired the adjoining property, Winnum, about 10km to the south. He remained at Winnum until 1870 when he moved to New South Wales and purchased Wambangalang station near Dubbo. 'The Kalgoorlie Western Argus' dated Monday 7 June 1875 reported the sale as follows: " Messrs Dennys, Lascelles and Co. report sales (in conjunction with Messrs Brewster and Trebick, of Sydney) of the Wambangalang, Bulleenburrawang, and Wallaby Runs, near Dubbo, in the district of Wellington, to Mr Thomas Townsend, late of Weenum, in the Wimmera District, 18,000 sheep and 650 cattle were sold with the runs, the price for sheep being 15s per head, and cattle at £5 10s, stores, horses, implements, and furniture at a valuation."

Thomas sold Wambangalang in 1876 and bought a fine property called Greendale, near Canowindra, where he died (2). Page 688 of The Calendar of Wills and Administration 1858-1922 in the National Archives of Ireland records that Probate of the will of "Thomas Townsend late of Nyrang Creek Canowindra New South Wales Farmer”, who died on 7 June 1913, was granted at Sydney on 4 July 1913 to "Arthur HT Sherwin”. Resealed at Dublin on 9 December 1913. Effects in Ireland £1,745 4s 7d. Arthur Sherwin was married to Thomas’ youngest daughter Katherine Townsend [379].

Thomas' brother Edward James Townsend [340] emigrated to Corowa, NSW in about 1845 and his brother James Townsend [342] emigrated to Victoria in about 1859 and later moved to Townsville, NSW.

Much of the detail in this entry was provided by Malcolm Gain great great nephew of Eliza Gain. Her younger brother George, who arrived in Australia with her and their mother in 1850 was his great grandfather.

(1) Eliza was baptized at St Peter's, Hereford, on 8 June 1834. Her parents George and Catherine were married in the parish of Barony, Lanarkshire, Scotland on 10 December 1819. Her father George was baptized in the Canongate Church in Edinburgh's Royal Mile on 18 November 1800. His father, also called George Gain (or Gunn or Gwin) was a blacksmith whose forge and dwelling were adjacent to the Church. Eliza's mother, Catherine, was a seamstress. Eliza died aged 42 in 1878.

(2) Thomas' obituary in The Horsham Times dated Tuesday 24 June 1913, reproduced in his 'Scrapbook', is difficult to read. This is the transcription.

At the advanced age of 90 years Mr Thomas Townsend passed away at his residence Greendale, near Canowindra, New South Wales on June 7th. The deceased who was well known in the Wimmera, was one of Victoria’s early pioneers. For a number of years he managed the Nhill station for the late Mr D M’Pherson until her bought the adjoining station (Winnum). He resided there until 1870, when he removed to New South Wales and purchased Wambangalang station near Dubbo. This he sold out in 1876, purchasing another fine property near Canowindra and which he called Townsdale (?). It was there 35 years ago that his wife died at the comparatively early age of 42. He leaves four sons and two daughters; viz Edward (Paddington station, Dubbo), Richard (Queensland), John (New Zealand) and George, who remained with him, Mrs GK Minter (Horsham) and Mrs AHT Sherwin (Carg’o). The funeral took place on Monday 9th inst and the respect and esteem in which the deceased was held was amply testified to by the large cortege, including residents from all parts of the district who followed his remains to the last resting place in the local cemetery, where they were interred beside those of his late wife. The Rev R Douglas officiated at the graveside. The deceased leaves two aged sister in Ireland, one the widow of the late Rev Richard Jones MA, rector of St Peter’s, Youghal and the other the widow of the late Rev GS Green BA , rector of St Andrews, Ballyhalbert. The late Mr Townsend was a gentleman of unassuming manners. Through great trouble and reverses he remained contented to the end. A big, strong man, he was in good health until a few days before he died and he was always solicitous for the welfare of others.

Other ‘Townsend’ Australian émigrés - Denotes with descendants.

Jonas Morris Townsend [237], Edward James Townsend [340], James Townsend [342], Reuben Joseph Townsend [373], Edward Townsend [374], Edward Becher Townsend [433], Samuel Edward Townsend [441], Edward Townsend [445], Edward Carr Townsend [5A01], Andrew Colin Crofton Townsend [5B38], David Michael Hume Townsend [667], Penelope Townsend [671], Samuel Philip Townsend [6A20], Sarah Townsend [6B56], Constance Rosemary Townsend [6C32]*.