Given names: 
Given address: 
Sheet No: 520

Biographical information provided for the He Tohu exhibition:

Emma Nixon was born in 1864 in Hexham, Northumberland, to William and Mary Nixon. Her father was a lead miner at the Stonecroft mine, and she was the second youngest of at least six children. She began her teacher training in England.

Emma married James Henry Birkett, a farmer, in 1894. They lived in Inglewood, having six children between 1895 and 1911. Two, a son and a daughter, died as babies. The family were members of the Methodist Church and Emma may have been a member of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union. She maintained her teacher’s registration between 1898 and 1919. Emma was a popular school teacher at Huiroa, Mangahume and Pukearuhe schools in the 1900s; the dance held in her honour when she left the latter position ‘kept merrily going until it was time to go and bring in the cows for milking in the morning’.

In 1918, Emma’s only living son, Hugh Birkett, died of meningitis in a field hospital in France, only four months before the end of the First World War. The Birkett family lived in Eltham, Te Kiri and Ōpunake, before finally moving to Auckland in the 1920s, settling in Manukau with their unmarried daughter Marjorie. Emma died in Auckland in 1930.

Click on sheet number to see the original petition sheet this signature appeared on. Digital copies of the sheets supplied by Archives New Zealand.

How to cite this page

'Emma Nixon', URL:, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 14-Sep-2017

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Delysse Storey

Posted: 02 Jan 2013

Emma Nixon married H.J.Birkett, Opunake. She was a school teacher from Stonecroft Mines, Northumberland. Emma had four children, and taught in Taranaki schools from 1898 until 1914. Her eldest son Lisle died in W.W.1 1917, of the three daughters there were no issue.