People Australia

  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites

Browse Lists:

Cultural Advice

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website contains names, images, and voices of deceased persons.

In addition, some articles contain terms or views that were acceptable within mainstream Australian culture in the period in which they were written, but may no longer be considered appropriate.

These articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Australian National University.

Older articles are being reviewed with a view to bringing them into line with contemporary values but the original text will remain available for historical context.

William Townsend Onus (1868–1937)

William Onus was registered as William Hibbs on his birth certificate. Only his mother's name — Martha Hibbs — was provided. He gave his name as 'William Townsend Onus' when he married Mary Nelson on 17 September 1900 at Echuca, Victoria, and gave his father's name as Joseph Onus.

It has been suggested that Joseph Onus (1818-1895) was his first employer and trained him to be a drover; William took his surname, as was often customary practice, when he reached adulthood.

Pastoralist, William Hibbs (1833-1917), who lived in the Wollombi area, has also been named as a possible father. 

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Onus, William Townsend (1868–1937)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 27 February 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Hibbs, William Townsend

27 August, 1868
Wollombi, New South Wales, Australia


12 October, 1937 (aged 69)
Lidcombe, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death


Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.