ELVERD, William Morris

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Holy Rood Parish Church, Buckland Newton, Dorset
Baptism of William Morris Elvord (Elverd) 1819
Ratcliffe arrives in Sydney from England [The Australian 6 Nov 1843]
Waterlily leaves for Hobart [Sydney Dispatch 18 Nov 1843]
William Elverd’s first appearance on WA
Army Musters [WO12-6206-344]
Advertisement for Elverd’s Hotel
Death Notice in Fremantle Herald 20 Sep 1873
Elverd’s land holdings in Kojonup outlined
in blue [WASRO Cons.3868-230]
William Morris  ELVERDName variations: Elford, Elvard, Elvered, Elvord
Birth Date and Place1819 Buckland Newton, Dorset, England [deduced].
Baptism Date and Place3 May 1819 Church of Holy Rood, Buckland Newton, Dorset, England [Dorset History Centre].
Marriage Date and Place1st: April 1846 Perth, Western Australia [WABDM Reg.173].
2nd: 23 Jun 1853 Perth, Western Australia [WABDM Reg.508].
Spouse1st: Elizabeth PRIDEAUX d. Nov 1850 in childbirth [WABDM Reg.173].
2nd: Agnes SAMWAYS widow of Thomas Phillips [WABDM Reg.508].
Children1st Marriage:
Emily Elizabeth b. 1846 Perth, Western Australia [WABDM, Reg.775].
Selina Jane b. 1849 (d.1853) Perth, Western Australia [WABDM Reg.1273].
Charles Henry b. 1850 (d.1850) Perth, Western Australia [WABDM Reg1543].
2nd MarriageStepson Thomas Phillips b. 1850 [ERIC p.980].
Susannah b. 1854 (d.1855) Perth, Western Australia [WABDM Reg.2586].
Mary Jane b. 1855/56 Busselton, Western Australia [WABDM Reg.3241].
John Charles b. 1858 Busselton, Western Australia [WABDM Reg.4037].
William Morris b. 1860 Geraldton, Western Australia [WABDM Reg.5513].
Henry b. 1863 Kojonup, Western Australia [WABDM Reg.6948].
Robert b. 1865 Kojonup, Western Australia [WABDM Reg.8676].
Charles Edward b. 1868 Kojonup, Western Australia [WABDM Reg.10697 as Elvered].
OccupationsLabourer 1850 [STAT P.105].
Police Constable, Vasse 1854-1860; Geraldton 1860-1864 [PASH Index].
Polce Constable, Perth 1854; Champion Bay Dec 1860 [BENT:42,56,151].
Farmer, Kojonup 1864-1873 [ERIC p.980].
Publican, Kojonup 1869-1873 [TROVE].
Land Acquisition in WATillage Lease 100 acres, Kojonup 1864 [ERIC p.980].
120 acres, Kojonup 1867 [ERIC p.980].
Death Date and Place3 Sep 1873 Kojonup, Western Australia [WABDM Reg.6754].
Burial Date and PlaceSeptember 1873 Kojonup Cemetery, Western Australia.
Death, Funeral, Obituary NoticesThe Herald 20 Sep 1873 [TROVE].
Will and ProbateProbate: Letters of Administration ‘de bonis non’ granted 28 Mar 1877, Supreme Court of Western Australia Ecclesiastical [WASRO Cons.3458-1877-261].
Regiment51st (2nd Yorkshire West Riding) The Kings Own Light Infantry.
Soldier No. and Rank#1562 Private [WO12-6205-143].
Enlistment Date and Place30 Dec 1842 Sherborne, Dorset – recorded at Chatham HQ [W012-6204-334].
Medals, Clasps and Badges
Arrival Australia State: Ship and DateRatcliffe – troopship. Embarked on 29 Jun 1843. Paid in advance to 15 Nov 1843 [WO12-6205-110].
Arr. 5 Nov 1843 Sydney; dep. 4 Jul London, 21 Jul 1843 Plymouth [TROVE].
Waterlily – contract schooner.
Arr.18 Nov 1843 Hobart Town; dep Sydney 11 Nov 1843 [TROVE].
Arrival Western Australia: Ship and DateChampion 27 Nov 1844 from Hobart [WO12-6206-313; TROVE].
Military Postings within Western AustraliaHQ Perth Jan 1845 to Nov 1846 [WO12-6206 to 6208].
HQ Perth and in Hospital for a total of 16 days Dec 1846 to Mar 1847 [WO12-6208-166,189].
Discharge Date and Place31 Mar 1847 Perth, Western Australia [WO12-6208-189].
Age at Discharge27 years [deduced].
Length of Service4 years 3 months [deduced].


Elverd did not arrive in the Colony with the main body of the 51st Detachment in June 1840 on board Runnymede and did not appear in the regiment’s Musters and Pay Lists in Western Australia until 1845. As he did not appear in the 1841 Worldwide index of 2nd quarter Musters, including Van Diemen’s Land it seemed likely that he did not enlist in the Army until after 1841. He did not appear with his family in the 1841 civil census of Buckland Newton, his birthplace. His parents, John and Mary Elford (sic) were in Buckland with two of Elverd’s siblings – Thomas and Mary. A William Elford appears about ten miles south of Buckland Newton in Frome Whitfield in the Parish of Holy Trinity; he was recorded as a manservant to Dairyman Robert Beeck. No person named William Elford or variants of the name appear in the 1851 civil census with a birthplace of Buckland Newton, suggesting that the 1841 entry may have related to our man.

Ultimately Elverd’s name was found in 51st Regiment Musters showing that he enlisted in December 1842 and joined the regiment at Chatham on 12 Jan 1843 (image right). He embarked for NSW at the end of June that year and arrived in Hobart, VDL in November 1843 via Sydney. By  January 1844 he was stationed in Hobart [WO12-6205-143] and in October that year left for Swan River remaining on the Van Diemens Land regiment’s payroll until 30th November. Seventeen privates and Lieutenant Harris arrived in Fremantle on 27 Nov 1844 on the ship Champion. His first appearance on a Perth Muster is in January 1845, where he was initially recorded as Edward and the record amended to read ‘Wm’ – see sidebar [WO12-6206-344].

The birth places of Elverd’s ten children indicate that he and the family moved around the State, finally settling in Kojonup. Elverd was a farmer with a contract to provide forage to the police horses. He was licensee of the quaintly named ‘Semblance of Old England Hotel’ on the Kojonup to Albany Road. His wife Agnes remained living in the hotel after his death and it was taken over by his stepson Thomas Phillips whom Elverd had reared since the age of two.

McDonnell’s Pensioner Cottage, now known as Elverd’s Cottage, Kojonup

The Elverd name lingers in the Kojonup community with Elverd’s Cottage being one of the few pensioner cottages remaining in the State. The cottage was built by William McDonnell on Lot P2 on land assigned to him in Kojonup in 1852. It was purchased in the 1880s by John Charles Elverd, one of William Elverd’s sons who was a grazier and prominent in the community until his death in 1891. Today the cottage is a well restored tourist feature of the town.