James received the sentence of transportation for life, in July 1789 at Winchester, Hampshire, he arrived in NSW aboard the Scarborough in 1790.
As James Townsend he married Ann Haynes (Convict Pitt 1792), 13 May 1792 at St Johns Parramatta. He enlisted into the NSW Corps in July 1798 in Sydney; he arrived on Norfolk Island possible sometime in 1801. In 1804 on Norfolk island he held the rank of Drummer.
Research has shown that his wife Ann Haynes did travel to Norfolk Island, in 1805 she is recorded as Ann Hayes, free woman from sentences expired. James Townson departed Norfolk Island aboard the Union in April 1805 travelling to Sydney, Ann Hayes is listed in July 1805 victualling book. In Aug 1806 she is recorded as Free by Servitude, living with James Townsend, Soldier. James Townson was discharged from the NSW Corp in June 1808. Ann Townsend died 16 Oct 1819, age 46 years. She was buried at either Old Sydney Burial Ground or one of the earliest burials at Devonshire Street Cemetery.
In 1822 now employed as a constable, James is recorded as been married to Margaret Bunn (convict, Lady Penrhyn 1788) who had been previous with William Mumford (convict, Scarborough 1790). William had died Mar 1814, buried Old Sydney Burial Ground. Margaret Bunn (Burne) died May 1825 Sydney, buried Devonshire Street Cemetery.
James Townsend, a widower, sawyer of Sydney, aged 50 years married Eliza Murphy, a widow of Sydney, aged 50 years, married 27 Jun 1825 St Philips Sydney. In Nov 1828 James Townsend age 55 years was working as a sawyer, living at Darling Harbour, in the same residence Eliza Townsend (convict Lady Juliana 1790), age 76 (sic) years.
In the Sydney Monitor, February 1835 James Townsend of Windmill Street Darling Harbour advertised for sale was a 30 acre farm the Ponds, near Kissing Point, belonging to his wife Mrs. Townsend, (late Elizabeth Tilley).
Betty – Elizabeth Tilly was a convict who arrived in NSW aboard the Lady Juliana in 1790. She had married Thomas Tilley (Convict Alexander 1788) on 12 Aug 1790 St Phillips Sydney. Thomas had received a land grant of 30acres at the Ponds in Feb 1794. By 1814 she was recorded as a widow (no death record for Thomas Tilley).
James is most likely the James Townsend who died July 1838 Sydney, buried Devonshire Street Cemetery RC section, and remains moved to Botany in 1901.
 Sydney Monitor, 18 February 1835, p. 3.