59 attend family reunion

The Townsend family reunion, held at the Waikouaiti RSA on Saturday, was attended by 59 descendants from all over New Zealand.

A reunion lunch was followed by a guided walk to the former family farm, which is now owned by the Brockbank family.

James Andrew Townsend was born at Trowbridge, England, in 1848.

After emigrating to New Zealand, he farmed at Caversham and then at Taieri Mouth, before joining the police force in the late 1870s.

He became a first class constable and served at South Dunedin, Oamaru, Waikouaiti, Kakanui and Hawksbury.

James Townsend and his wife Janet (nee Lyall) had seven sons and five daughters.

Both the Townsends and some family members are buried in the St John's church yard, at Waikouaiti.

Descendant Kelly Townsend has written a family history which she described as a ‘‘work in progress''.

John Dempster, of Tumai, is the only Townsend family descendant living in the Waikouaiti area.

He had known none of the other descendants before the reunion.

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