Scott Bird's Family Tree

History: Australia Archives


A Brief History of Ayr, Queensland

The areas around Townsville - most notably the town of Ayr - have been home to several generations of the BIRD family. This article details the town's growth from the period of their arrival in the 19th century until the present day.

Ayr is a town in northeastern Queensland, Australia, on the delta of the Burdekin River. The settlement was surveyed and gazetted in 1881. Declared a town in 1882 and named after the Scottish birthplace of Sir Thomas McIllwraith, then state premier, it became a shire in 1903.

On the north coast rail line and the Bruce Highway to Townsville (70 km northwest) and Brisbane (1,057 km southeast), it is the centre of the lower Burdekin irrigation area, which produces sugarcane, rice, corn, and beef cattle.

There are several sugar mills in the area. A 1,103-metre bridge is part of a road leading 7 miles south to the town of Home Hill (pop. 8,616 in 2006).

Notable Locations (Relating to the Family Tree)

Ayr Cemetery
Ephraim Bird was buried here.

The Town Formerly Known As...

This is a listing of several Queensland towns which have changed their names over the years. This has helped me enormously when examining old census forms, birth certificates and so on.

Hervey Bay (formerly Wide Bay)

Irvinebank (formerly Gibbs Camp)

Originally known as Gibb's Camp, the name was changed to Irvinebank by North Queensland mining legend John Moffat to remind him of his birth place of Newmilns on the river Irvine, Ayrshire, Scotland.

Marburg (originally named Marburg, renamed to Townshend, then back to Marburg)

During the First World War the Queensland Government replaced the name Marburg with the name Townshend, named after a British general. At the end of the war the people of Marburg asked for the old name to be returned, which the government did.

Miles (formerly Dogwood Crossing)

Formerly known as Dogwood Crossing, the town is situated on Dogwood Creek, named by German explorer Ludwig Leichhardt in 1844. The town was renamed Miles in honour of the Queensland Colonial Secretary, William Miles.

Rolleston (formerly Brown Town)

Rolleston - originally known as Brown Town when it was first surveyed in 1865 but was later renamed Rolleston after one of the original settlers, Christopher Rolleston.

Yandina (formerly Native Dog Flat, later Maroochie)

Yandina is Maroochy's oldest surveyed township. The town was called Maroochie until it was named after a nearby cattle run "Yandina". This name was embraced by locals who rarely used the name Maroochie as they preferred the town's original name: Native Dog Flat.

St John's Church, Gordon, Sydney

The cemetery of St John's Church is the resting place of several members of the Bradfield family. The Bradfield graves are located near the gate at the highest point of the cemetery.

Maryborough, (QLD)

Last updated : Nov 24, 2009

The Port of Maryborough, Queensland Australia is an important port for immigration of people from the British Isles, Denmark, and Germany. Declared a 'port of entry' in 1859 (shortly after Queensland had separated from the colony of New South Wales) it was the first regional port in Eastern Australia to serve as an immigration port for free settlers.

Information on immigrants arriving at this port may be available from Queensland State Archives or local family history centres and libraries.

Victoria (VIC)

Capital city : Melbourne

Chapman county code : VIC (complete list of codes)

The state of Victoria covers an area on the south east of the continent. The Bird family have lived in various places around Victoria over the years.

New South Wales (NSW)

Capital city : Sydney

Chapman county code : NSW (complete list of codes)

The state of New South Wales covers a large area on the east of the continent. The Bird family have lived in various places around New South Wales over the years, including Grafton, Lismore and Sydney.

Queensland (QLD)

Capital city : Brisbane

Chapman county code : QLD (complete list of codes)

The state of Queensland covers a large area on the north east of the continent. The Bird, Ash and Atkins families have lived in various places around Queensland over the years, most notably Maryborough and Townsville.


Queensland Family History Society
State Library of Queensland Family History Information & Research Service
Resources for Family History Research at Queensland State Archives
Maryborough District Family History Society
Central Queensland Family History Association
The book 'The Early History of Rockhampton' by JTS Bird is available through the association.
Family History Association of North Queensland

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.