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Wales

All the historic Townsley families seem to have lived in South Wales. They are all thought to be descendants of William Townsley and Diana (or Dinah) Williams. William it seems was from Scotland.

William and Diana were married on 5 September 1859 in Swansea. He was born about 1835, the son of Thomas, and she about 1838, the daughter of David - possibly from Gower. At the time of their marriage they were the only Townsleys in, at least, the southern half of Wales and some local families must be their descendants. All of this should have made for a straight-forward family tree. But some things just don't turn out as expected.

The first problem is that William and Diana do not appear in the 1861 Census for Swansea. William was a mariner fireman and so must have been employed on a steam ship; perhaps one of a significant size. So it is possible that both William and Diana were at sea in April 1861 - or a least in some other port, possibly in the British Isles. Certainly they were missing from Swansea. Finding them in one of the many ports around the British coast is too big a task to contemplate. It is possible that he was home at the time of the 1871 Census but this is a route yet to be pursued - even though it is probably not too difficult assuming the family were near the same address.

The nationwide index for the 1881 Census is more helpful and shows that Diana was at home with the family at 23 Waun Wen Rd, Swansea Town; but, yes, William was away again. Checking the 1891 Census found no Townsley families in this part of Swansea Town. However later it was found that Diana died around May 1882 and William seemed to have re-married - possibly in 1884 and again in 1893 - so anyone getting those certificates should provide the later addresses.

Not having a Census entry means that we do not know William's place of birth. And this magnifies the next problem. Amongst the Townsley families William is a very common name with around 300 individuals known. And even though we know the name of his father - Thomas - from the marriage certificate, there are around 185 individuals with this first name as well. So, even though we can narrow the options down greatly using their ages, there are still many possible families for our William to have come from. Since William was born just before civil registration started there is no national index of births to go through to try to overcome the lack of a birth place. The fact that Thomas was a brickmaker may prove to be a clue.

The third problem is lack of any direct family records. And the only clue found is the belief that William may have come from Dumfries, Scotland. So the details of any earlier generations are a mystery at this stage.

Going forward from William and Diana was, however, much simpler and the 1881 Census provided a good starting point. And when the 1901 Census became available online during 2002 more of the family could be traced even though one family is recorded as Townley. The additional material in the 2011 Census confirmed or corrected the details for the more recent generations.

Taking the family tree on from here becomes, mainly, a matter of tracing and then most probably buying a range of birth and marriage certificates to fill in the sections that are not known by the present families.

Best Guess Family Tree

  • 1 William Townsley b: abt 1832 Bailiff (Bailiehill?), Dumfries, Scotland d: abt Feb 1906 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales
  • . +Diana Williams b: abt 1838 Gower, Glamorgan, Wales m: 05 Sep 1859 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales d: abt May 1882 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales Father: David Williams Mother: x
  • ... 2 Harriet Ann Townsley b: 20 Jun 1865 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales d: abt Nov 1869 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales
  • ... 2 Thomas Townsley b: 10 Apr 1868 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales d: abt Aug 1868 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales
  • ... 2 William Henry Townsley b: 18 Oct 1869 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales d: abt 1930 Blackburn, Victoria, Australia
  • ...... +Susan Morgans aka: Susan Morgan b: abt 1873 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales m: abt May 1892 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales
  • ........ 3 Susan Townsley b: 07 May 1893 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales
  • ........... +Richard Merrigan b: abt 1894 St John, Glamorgan, Wales m: abt Feb 1920 Swansea, Glamorgan Father: John Merrigan Mother: Margaret M x
  • ............. 4 Florence M Merrigan b: abt Nov 1920 Swansea, Glamorgan
  • ............. 4 Lilian D Merrigan b: abt Aug 1924 Swansea, Glamorgan
  • ........ 3 William Henry Townsley b: abt Aug 1894 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales d: Nov 1963 Coventry, Warwickshire
  • ........... +Violet Ellen Coombe b: abt Nov 1898 Tiverton, Devon ? m: abt Aug 1921 Brecknock, Breconshire d: Aug 1965 Nuneaton, Warwickshire Father: John Coombe Mother: Ellen De Viell
  • ............. 4 William Dennis Coombe Townsley b: 24 Mar 1922 Brecknock, Breconshire d: abt Mar 1987 Coventry, Warwickshire
  • ................ +Beryl E Denny b: abt Feb 1928 Coventry, Warwickshire m: abt Feb 1944 Coventry, Warwickshire Father: William Denny Mother: Edith T Bromwich
  • ............. 4 Violet Lorraine Townsley b: 04 Apr 1924 Brecknock, Breconshire d: Feb 1979 Nuneaton, Warwickshire
  • ................ +William J Aubrey b: abt 1924 m: abt May 1946 Nuneaton, Warwickshire
  • ............. 4 Jack Townsley b: 08 Apr 1926 Brecknock, Breconshire d: abt May 1991 Nuneaton and Bedworth, Warwickshire
  • ................ +Olive Doreen Chaplin b: 15 Apr 1929 Nuneaton m: abt Aug 1947 Coventry d: Apr 2003 Nuneaton and Bedworth, Warwickshire Father: William B Chaplin Mother: Florence M Bates
  • ............. 4 Lilian E S Townsley b: abt Feb 1929 Newport, Monmouth d: abt Feb 1929 Newport, Monmouth
  • ............. 4 Ivor Henry Townsley b: 02 Oct 1930 Coventry, Warwickshire d: abt Oct 2000 Coventry, Warwickshire
  • ............. 4 Joan Townsley b: abt May 1933 Coventry, Warwickshire
  • ............. 4 Brenda Townsley b: abt Nov 1935 Coventry, Warwickshire
  • ............. 4 Peter G Townsley b: abt May 1938 Coventry, Warwickshire
  • ........ 3 George Townsley b: 13 Mar 1898 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales d: abt 1951 Prahran, Victoria, Australia
  • ........... +Beatrice Harriet Jones b: abt 1898 Swansea ? m: abt May 1919 Swansea, Glamorgan d: abt 1973 Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia Father: Edward Jones Mother: Dina Reece
  • ............. 4 George Townsley b: 09 Dec 1919 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales d: abt 1975 Essedon, Victoria, Australia
  • ................ +Enid x
  • ............. 4 William F Townsley b: abt Feb 1921 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales
  • ............. 4 Patricia Pauline Townsley b: abt 1925 Australia ? d: abt 1926 Carlton, Victoria, Australia
  • ........ 3 Thomas Townsley b: 19 Feb 1900 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales d: Aft. 1911
  • ........ 3 Lilian May Townsley b: 21 Feb 1902 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales d: Oct 1984 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales
  • ........... +James Smale b: abt May 1906 Swansea, Glamorgan m: abt Aug 1930 Swansea, Glamorgan d: abt Feb 1941 Swansea, Glamorgan
  • ............. 4 Jean Smale b: abt Aug 1934 Swansea, Glamorgan
  • ........ *2nd Husband of Lilian May Townsley:
  • ........... +Reginald B Clement b: abt 1902 m: abt Feb 1950 Swansea, Glamorgan
  • ........ 3 Brinley Edward Townsley b: 27 Feb 1903 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales d: abt Aug 1903 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales
  • ........ 3 Edward Townsley b: 12 Dec 1906 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales d: Aft. 1911
  • ........ 3 Edith M Townsley b: abt Aug 1913 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales
  • ... 2 Harriet Ann Townsley b: abt Nov 1871 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales d: abt Feb 1872 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales
  • ... 2 Mary Elizabeth Townsley b: 08 Mar 1873 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales d: abt Nov 1933 Gower, Glamorgan
  • ...... +William Dix b: abt 1874 Landimore / Cheriton, Glamorgan, Wales m: abt May 1900 Gower, Glamorgan d: Aft. 1911 Father: Thomas Dix Mother: Eliza Phillips
  • ........ 3 Eliza Diana Dix b: abt Nov 1901 Gower, Glamorgan d: abt Feb 1937 Bridgend, Glamorgan
  • ........ 3 Mary Elizabeth Dix b: 01 Dec 1902 Gower, Glamorgan d: abt Feb 1977 Swansea, Glamorgan
  • ........ 3 Emily Dix b: abt May 1904 Gower, Glamorgan d: Aft. 1911
  • ........ 3 Caroline Dix b: abt Feb 1906 Gower, Glamorgan
  • ........... +John M Hughes m: abt Nov 1933 Gower, Glamorgan
  • ........ 3 Thomas William Dix b: abt 1909 Gower, Glamorgan d: Aft. 1911
  • ........ 3 Margaret Dix b: abt 1910 Gower, Glamorgan d: Aft. 1911
  • ... 2 David Joseph Townsley b: 23 Aug 1862 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales d: abt May 1942 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales
  • ...... +Catherine Jane Thompson b: abt 1862 Pembroke Dock, Glamorgan, Wales m: abt Feb 1886 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales d: abt May 1946 Swansea, Glamorgan Father: x Thompson Mother: x Voyle?
  • ........ 3 Hilda Townsley b: abt Aug 1887 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales d: abt Aug 1912 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales
  • ........ 3 Mabel Townsley b: abt Dec 1888 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales d: abt Nov 1889 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales
  • ........ 3 Reginald Townsley b: 12 Dec 1889 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales d: abt May 1978 Swansea, Glamorgan
  • ........... +Mildred Evelyn Belt b: abt May 1892 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales m: abt Feb 1914 Swansea, Glamorgan d: abt Nov 1960 Swansea, Glamorgan Father: James Belt Mother: Ann Williams
  • ............. 4 Averil A Townsley b: abt May 1926 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales
  • ................ +Eric W S Harris b: abt 1922 m: abt Feb 1947 Swansea, Glamorgan
  • ........ 3 William Townsley b: abt Apr 1891 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales d: abt Nov 1964 Swansea, Glamorgan
  • ........... +Hilda Jones b: 19 Mar 1890 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales ? m: abt Nov 1923 Swansea, Glamorgan d: Feb 1984 Swansea, Glamorgan
  • ............. 4 Edna Townsley b: abt Nov 1928 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales
  • ................ +Thomas A Williams b: abt 1924 m: abt Aug 1948 Swansea, Glamorgan
  • ........ 3 Maud Mary Townsley b: abt Jun 1892 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales d: abt Nov 1895 Swansea, Glamorgan
  • ........ 3 Winifred Townsley b: abt Feb 1894 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales d: abt Feb 1899 Swansea, Glamorgan
  • ........ 3 Agnes Townsley b: 26 Jan 1895 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales d: abt Nov 1896 Swansea, Glamorgan
  • ........ 3 Catherine Townsley b: 26 Jan 1895 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales d: abt Nov 1895 Swansea, Glamorgan
  • ........ 3 John Voyle Townsley b: 15 Apr 1896 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales d: abt May 1898 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales
  • ........ 3 Arthur Townsley b: 02 Dec 1898 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales d: 08 Aug 1918 Cologne, Germany
  • ........ 3 Elsie Townsley b: 20 Jan 1901 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales d: Feb 1997 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales
  • ........ 3 Doris Townsley b: 07 Apr 1902 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales d: abt May 1903 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales
  • ........ 3 David Edward Townsley b: 22 Dec 1904 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales d: Feb 1981 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales
  • ........... +Grace May Hughes b: 21 May 1912 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales m: abt Nov 1934 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales d: 13 May 1976 Father: Owen Gerald Hughes Mother: Hannah E Maddocks
  • ............. 4 Gloria Townsley b: abt May 1936 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales
  • ................ +Raymond A Strange b: abt 1935 m: abt Aug 1961 Swansea, Glamorgan
  • ............. 4 Lorna Townsley b: abt Feb 1946 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales
  • ................ +Martin A Timpson m: abt Feb 1967 Swansea, Glamorgan
  • ............. 4 Graham Edward Townsley b: abt Aug 1950 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales d: abt Nov 1982 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales
  • ........ 3 Glynn Townsley b: 01 Jun 1907 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales d: May 1982 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales
  • ........... +Marion Violet Turner b: 25 Jun 1913 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales m: abt Nov 1939 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales d: Jul 1987 Glamorgan Father: x Turner Mother: x Evans
  • ............. 4 Joan M Townsley b: abt Feb 1941 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales
  • ................ +Edgar C Williams b: abt 1940 m: abt Feb 1966 Swansea, Glamorgan
  • ............. 4 Aubrey Glynn Townsley b: abt May 1942 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales
  • ................ +Sheila Ann Hughes b: abt 1942 m: abt Aug 1965 Swansea, Glamorgan
  • ............. 4 Richard D Townsley b: abt Feb 1949 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales
  • ............. 4 John Townsley b: abt Feb 1951 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales
  • *2nd Wife of William Townsley:
  • . +Jane Thomas b: abt 1848 Swansea, Glamorgan m: abt Feb 1893 Swansea, Glamorgan d: abt Nov 1902 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales

 

Progressing the Story

Despite knowing that William came from Scotland (possible Dumfries) his parents have yet to be traced. It also means that more searches are needed to find any other Townsley entries for the families that seem to be no longer living within the Swansea area. It is even possible that some may have gone overseas, however it also seems increasingly evident that many children died young.

If anyone wants to take up the challenge of finishing the structure of this particular branch of the Townsley family tree - and linking back to Scotland - then they will have a base of information to start from.

 

Details of all the other Townsley family trees are online here ....

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