VERRELL, ELSIE (1890-1959) (F)

Full Birth Name: Elsie Linda Verrell
Married Name & Dates: Mrs Albert James Berkshire (1925-1941)
Profession: Photographer
Professional Years: 1914 to 1925
Where Practised: Verrell Studio, 115 Liverpool St, Hobart, TAS.



the photographer’s daughter


Elsie Verrell was born in Hobart on 27 January 1890,[1] the second child among the seven offspring of Mary Stubbs (1866-1948) and Edward Verrell (1863-1947).

Elsie’s father was an established photographer in Hobart and had been since March 1887[2] when he took over the studio once operated by his former teacher and employer, Alfred Winter. The studio was situated on Liverpool Street, nestled between A. Mather & Co, drapers, and Mather & Son, mercers and tailor.[3]

In this photograph of Andrew Mather & Co. Family Drapers store, 91 Liverpool Street, Hobart the entrance to Winter’s, later Verrell’s, photographic studio entrance can be seen on the left-hand side. From Walker Family Scrapbook compiled by Peter Benson Walker. Private collection. Courtesy: University of Tasmania Library Special and Rare Materials Collection

Elsie’s involvement in her father’s photographic studio can be traced back to at least 1914 when she identified herself as a “Photographist” in the 1914 Electoral Roll.[4] At that time, she was around 24 years of age and had likely spent several years working in the studio in various roles. Interestingly, none of her siblings seemed to have pursued photography as a career, although this does not rule out their involvement in the family business at some time.

After her marriage in 1925,[5] it appears that Elsie, who was then 35 years old, scaled back her active engagement in the business, at least in an official capacity.[6] As Mr. and Mrs. Albert James Berkshire, Elsie and her husband did not have any children and dedicated themselves to their life together. Following her husband’s passing in 1941,[7] Elsie continued to reside in the Verrell family residence at 84 Forest Road, Hobart, until her death in 1959,[8] at the age of 69.




[1] Birth Registration RGD33/1/1/17 no 132

[2] “Death of Prominent Lodge Official”, The Mercury, 12 April, 1947, p 21; “Miscellaneous : Notice.”, The Mercury, 1 April 1887, pg 3.

[3] “Towns – General Directory. Hobart”, The Tasmania Post Office Directory for 1890-91. H. Wise & Co., Publishers, pg 56.

[4] Australia, Electoral Rolls, 1903-1980 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010. Original data: Australian Electoral Commission. [Electoral roll]

[5] “Family Notices. Marriages. Berkshire-Verrell”, The Mercury, 12 December 1925, pg 1.

[6] The Tasmanian Electoral Rolls for the years following her marriage indicate that Elsie did not claim any occupation other than that of a domestic partner.

[7] “Family Notices. Deaths. Berkshire”, The Mercury, 22 September 1941, pg 6.

[8] Elsie Linda Berkshire passed away on 5 March 1959 and was laid to rest in the Cornelian Bay Cemetery and Crematorium in Hobart, Tasmania. Find A Grave