Re: Mrs J Bird

Gwyneth Watson

Hi Sue,

Thanks for that, however I am not connected to Ann & Reuben Bird who were the well known butchers. I just thought someone looking at the photo I sent would have an idea of how old this Mrs J Bird is?

Cheers Gwyneth
Moss Vale, NSW

On 24 May 2020, at 9:20 am, Sue & Evan Thomas <sueandevanthomas@...> wrote:

NZ BDM have two Ann Bird deaths but the one that fits with the Nelson City Council cemetery records is the death in 1891 where she is listed on both BDM and NCC cemetery records as being 73 years. That would make her date of birth about 1818. If you go to the Nelson Museum photo collection on line there will be some photos of her plus her butcher’s shop and there might be an entry on The Prow website as well but be a bit wary of any information on that as the articles on that are not usually checked for accuracy. There is a lovely story somewhere of her shooting a cow at her butcher’s shop and the bullet passing straight through the back wall of the shop and into the shop behind. Not sure where you got the J Bird from - she was definitely Ann and husband was Reuben.

Not sure where her husband Reuben is buried approximately 1850 - could possibly be at Halliwell Cemetery or the one on the Cliffs and the records are not complete for either of those cemeteries.


Sue Thomas

Notable Women Walk

Ann Bird is said to be the first woman to step ashore in Nelson. She and her husband Reuben Bird, along with their young daughter Anne, arrived on the ship “Fifeshire” in 1842 from Kent, England.

Reuben opened a butcher's shop sometime around 1846 in Nelson. When he died in 1850 Ann continued to run the shop and bring up their five children. Later two sons helped her run the business.

Ann died in 1891 leaving an estate worth more than £950 and a free hold half acre section. She was a forebear of Tex Morton a well known country and western singer.

Image: Courtesy Nelson Provincial Museum, Tyree Studio Collection, 28343/3


• Bird Ann buried 28 June 1891 aged 73 years
• Bird Charles John buried 2 November 1914 aged 70 years
• Bird Isabella Jane buried 23 March 1909 aged 63 years
• Bird Ann buried 28 June 1891 aged 73 years

In Loving Memory of Ann Bird died June 25th 1891 aged 73 years.

In Loving memory of Charles John Bird died October 31st 1914 aged 70 years.

And of his wife Isabella died March 21st 1909 aged 53 years.

[Shaped marble monument 4 sides] In Loving Memory of Ann Bird died 25 June 1891 aged 73 years. In Loving Memory of Charles John died 31 October 1914 aged 70 years. And of his wife Isabella died 21 March 1909 aged 53 years.

On 24/05/2020, at 10:07 AM, Gwyneth Watson <cannycot@...> wrote:


Does anybody have an idea how old this lady might be please?
The Nelson museum lists her as Mrs J Bird.

If this is right the photo might be between 1888 and 1893 when she was known to have had a stroke, hence her hand/arm in some sort of sling, and she would be between 57 & 62 years of age? Any ideas please?

Cheers Gwyneth
Moss Vale, NSW


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