Burke's ''Irish Family Records'' indicates that the first of this family to be established in Ireland was Richard Townsend, an officer in the Cromwellian army, who acquired Castle Townsend and other lands in west Cork in the late 1660s (6,543 acres). The estate of Richard M.F. Townsend amounted to over 7100 acres in county Kerry in the 1870s. Burke notes that this property was inherited by virtue of descent from the Knight of Kerry. The Ordnance Survey Field Name Books had reported that Capt Hickson of Dingle acted as agent for the Townsend estate in that area. The representatives of the late Rev. Maurice Townsend owned over 8000 acres in county Cork at the same time. At the time of Griffith's Valuation, Rev. Maurice was among the principal lessors in the parishes of Castlehaven and also held townlands in other parishes in the same barony including Creagh, Drinagh, Dromdaleague, Kilmacabea, Myross and Skull. John Sealy Townsend, a barrister and descended from the Castletownsend family, was among the principal lessors in the parishes of Castleventry, Ross and Kilmichael, barony of East Carbery, at the time of Griffith's Valuation. Samuel Townsend of Skibbereen was among the lessors in the parish of Drinagh, at the same time. In 1874, over 100 acres of Samuel Nugent Townsend's estate in West Carbery was offered for sale in the Landed Estates Court.