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Thomas Townsend and Family in The Illawarra

The captivating story of the Townsend and Madden Families


By Jill Townsend

About the Book

This is the story of Thomas Townsend and family in the Illawarra Region of Wollongong

P_B_Maurice Madden2.jpg

Ann Townsend and Maurice Madden


Book Info

"THOMAS TOWNSEND AND FAMILY IN THE ILLAWARRA" chronicles the family histories of the Townsends and the Maddens.
Thomas Townsend arrived in Australia in 1833 and, once a free man, married Jane Smith or Smyth in Yass in 1854. They settled in Fairy Meadow where they were the proprietors of The Cabbage Tree Inn. They had sons John and James and a daughter, Ann. James and Ann remained in the Illawarra. James married Christina Bennett. Their children were: Jessie Jane, John Thomas, Ada May, Mary Beatrice, Frederick, Mabel, Frank and Christina Irene.
Ann Townsend married Maurice Joseph Madden and strong bonds were formed between the two families.
In 1850 Maurice's parents, John Madden and Mary Hilliard, brought their family from Limerick, Ireland; Phillip, Patrick, William, Honora, Nicholas, John, Thomas and James.
Maurice Joseph, Bridget Mary and William (Il) were born in Australia. The family multiplied and flourished, contributing to the prosperity and growth of the Illawarra.

John Madden was not the first in his immediate family to arrive in Australia, however! John Madden's brothers Nicholas and Patrick also came to Australia after he did. Nicholas settled in Melbourne and Patrick in Orange with his wife Ellen Campion.

This book will be of great interest to the family and historians alike and is available to inspect in all the Wollongong libraries.


My thanks to Geoff Payne for his generous help particularly with photos and for all his encouragement. 

Thanks to the ladies at East Gosford Family History who got me underway, also to the staff at both State Library of N.S.W., the N.S.W. State Archives at Kingswood, and the State Library of Tasmania. To Daughter Janet Mackay and grandson Joshua Dominguez for helping with the layout of the pictures.

Most of all, thanks to my husband Sam, who not only held the fort for this whole year, but swept it out as well.

His professional knowledge of "matters maritime" has been invaluable.



Questions? Send Jill an e-mail at or send a message below!

Thanks for submitting!


"They Want to Be Found"

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