This page summarises the Kirby Family and their migration to Australia down to Ralph Valentine EDWARDS (KIRBY). The following figure shows the ancestors of Ralph Valentine EDWARDS and how the Kirby family fits in.
Henry Edward KIRBY (father of Ralph Valentine Edwards) was born in Jan 1870 in Clifton, Gloucestershire, England. Clifton is an inner suburb of Bristol. His parents were George KIRBY and Matilda May EDWARDS (this is where the Edwards surname may have come from when Valentine Henry KIRBY changed his name to Ralph Valentine EDWARDS).
George KIRBY was one of seven children of John KIRBY and Grace HEAVEN. George and many of his siblings were born and lived in a little town of Wickwar, Gloucestershire, north-west of Bristol. He married Matilda May Edwards in the Independent Chapel in Frampton Cottrell (now the Zion United Church), which is south of Wickwar and west of Hinton (where they were both living prior to the wedding). After marriage to Matilda, they moved to Bristol and lived in various places over the years. The Kirby’s and Heaven’s had been natives of that area for a number of generations dating back into the 17th century.
Matilda May EDWARDS was one of seven children of William EDWARDS and Ann ANSTEY. She and many of her siblings were born and lived around Hinton, Dryham & Hinton in Gloucestershire. This area is about 10 miles west of Bristol and 5 miles south of Wickwar (location of the Kirby’s and Heaven’s). These areas come under the district Chipping Sodbury. There’s not a lot of info on the Edwards family earlier than the late 18th century. This is because records aren’t as accurate and there are many Edwards’.
View Kirby Family around Bristol in a larger map
Henry Edward KIRBY spent his childhood years living in Bristol;
- at age 1 (1871) he was living at 5 Upper Richmond Tce, Bristol,with his father George (31), mother Matilda (30), and siblings Ruth (8), William (6) and John (3).
- at age 11 (1881) he was living at 118 Lower Cheltenham Pl, Bristol, with father George (41), mother Matilda (40), and siblings Ruth (18), William (16), John (13), Annie (5), Ernest (3) and Arthur (3).
- at age 21 (1891) he was living at Freemantle Rd, Stapleton, Bristol Nth, with father George (51), mother Matilda (50), and siblings John (23), Annie (15), Arthur (13) and Ernest (13).
In early 1892 he married Kate Young COOK who also lived in the United Parishes of St James and St Paul (district of Barton Regis) in Gloucestershire. She died towards the end of 1893 at age 24, in childbirth.
He does not appear on the 1901 census and in 1904 he married Elizabeth May BOTTRELL in New South Wales. So he must have arrived somewhere in Australia between 1894 (age 24) and 1904 (age 34), but I’m still looking for the ship.
His father George was an upholsterer/cabinet maker (according to the census records), which may have led Henry into cabinetmaking as a trade.