The Nancy Bird Question.

Nana’s 100th birthday was on the 7th of October and at a party of 130 odd people, the question most often directed at me was

“Are we related to Nancy Bird?”

My answer – “Well Nana says so but I am not sure how” was met with little satisfaction on the part of the questioners, so for those who wished for further elucidation on the topic, here is a more extended answer.

Rita Muffett (nee Bird and her brother Neville
Is this Nancy Bird’s place in the background?

For those of you who may not know, Nancy-Bird Walton was a pioneering Australian Aviator who operated an Air Ambulance service in Outback NSW, founded the Australian Women Pilots’ Association, was patron of numerous charities and was one of those people considered to be national treasures.

Basically she is the the kind of person that if you find in your tree you tell everyone. So yes I have done some digging, and Nancy Bird’s tree – as near as I can figure -looks like this.

Nancy Delow Bird b 1915 d 2009
daughter of 
William Raymond Bird b 1888 d 1969
son of
Frederick John M Bird b 1851 d 1902
son of 
James Bird b c1821 d 1883

So really the question is not “Are we related to Nancy Bird” it is “Are we related to James Bird?”

Is it possible to find a link between this James Bird and our earliest certainty in this line Robert Bird b c1819 d 1882. They were certainly in the same vicinity in the 1850s and 1860s but so was another James Bird and a William Bird and a Thomas Bird and a – well you get the idea. Proximity does not equate to consanguinity, and as Robert Bird and the correct James Bird are both proving somewhat elusive – um –

“Well Nana says so but I am not sure how”

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