Scott Bird's Family Tree

Bird, Ephraim (1842-1919)

Ephraim Bird was born in Union St West Bromwich, Staffordshire, England on 27 Dec 1842 [5,13]; the son of Sawyer [5] Thomas BIRD and Elizabeth Katherine HOPKINS [3].

In 1861 [12] - at the age of 18 - Ephraim was living in West Bromwich with his parents Thomas and Elizabeth, brothers Thomas and Joseph and sister Mary. Ephraim's occupation was listed as 'sawyer'.

Ephraim married Anne 'Annie' Chetwynd at Wilnecote, Warwick on 8 Feb 1869; in Wilnecote and Castle Liberty, Warwickshire, England (3, 10). His occupation at this time was noted as ' fitter' [3] Anne's was listed as 'servant' [3].

In 1870 (the time of Herbert's birth) he was living in Kings Norton, Staffordshire [4].

With wife Anne (nee CHETWYND) he had six children :
1. Herbert Ephraim (1870 - 8/3/1955) [6]
2. Henry Ernest (1873 - 22/7/1950) [6]
3. Joseph William (1875 - 23/9/1950) [6]
4. Alfred Edward (1876 - 22/4/1929) [6]
5. Amy Lizzie (1878 - 29/6/1924) [6]
6. Frank Chetwynd (29/4/1885 - 2/8/1927) [6,8]

In 1881 - at the time of the census - both Ephraim and Anne were grocers [1].

In 1883 the family migrated to Australia, leaving Plymouth on 15 March 1883 and arriving in Townsville on May 12 aboard the British India steamship Merkara. The Merkara stopped briefly in Brisbane on May 11. Although Ephraim was 40 years old at this time, he was listed as 38 on the ship's register.

In 1900 an Ephraim BIRD was listed as a selector in Antil Plains (Townsville) [7].

In 1901 Ephraim's occupation was noted as farmer [2].

In 1908 Ephraim was registered on the Australian Electoral Roll [11], in the district of Herbert; subdistrict Thornborough. He is shown as living in Elliot Gardens, Woodstock at the time. His occupation was noted as 'gardener'.

In 1913 the Australian Electoral Roll [14] shows Ephraim living in Toonpan (suburb of Townsville). His occupation was noted as 'gardener'.

Ephraim passed away on 26 June 1919 in Queen St, Ayr, Queensland [6]. Listed as labourer at this time. He was buried in nearby Ayr Cemetery (grave 401) [9].


Thanks to Sharon Bleakley (for the 1881 Staffordshire census lookup) and to Jude Price, for helping to close the story.


1881 Census of Staffordshire.
Marriage certificate of Alfred Edward Bird and Lily Bradfield.
Marriage certificate of Ephraim Bird.
1870 census.
Birth certificate for Ephraim Bird.
Death certificate of Ephraim Bird.
QLD PO Directory for 1900.
QLD Register of Births, Deaths and Marriages.
Burdekin Shire Council Burial Register - Record for E BIRD (
England & Wales Marriages, 1538-1940 (Found via
Australian Electoral Roll 1908. (Found via
1861 England Census. (Found via
England & Wales, FreeBMD Birth Index, 1837-1915. (Found via
Australian Electoral Roll 1913. (Found via


In which house (in Ayr) did Ephraim live? Is it still there?
Why did he move from Townsville to Ayr?
When was the decision made to move to Australia? Why? Who made it? Why Townsville?
What was the process involved in emigration? How long did it take? What did it cost?
Where was Ephraim buried?
What was the route taken by the Merkara?
What did he farm?
What's the exact definition of a selector? What - precisely - is a selection? Fixed size, granted by which government, permission to farm particular products etc?
Did Ephraim have any knowledge of farming when he applied to emigrate?
Why was Ephraim noted as being 38 in the shipping register - did it take 2 years to process his application?
Did he have to register to vote (for an Australian Prime Minister) in 1901?


There was a heavy government assistance package available to those who emigrated to Queensland in the 1880s. The population increased by a massive 85% from 1881 to 1891.

NB : I'd love to find out more about these people, particularly those from the last 200-300 years.

If you can help flesh out their stories, please get in touch via my personal site, at / contact . Thank-you.