Bibby Brothers circus

From: Gary
To: Jan
Subject: Bibby Bros Circus

Hi Jan,
My mother’s maiden name is Bibby. We had family in NZ that ran a circus and buckjump show. Bibby Bros Circus.
They left NZ around 1904?? They went to Tasmania and toured their circus till 1914.

One of my grand dad’s brothers went to first world war. His name was Ted Bibby.
My grand fathers name is Emerys Bibby but was known as Burt Bibby. His birth certificate reads Milton NZ 14th July 1884.

But my mother said it is not correct he was born in Kaiganki NZ.
My Great grand parents are Mary Bibby (Beynon) born 1847 Swansea Wales and John Bibby born Swansea Wales 1845.

I have attached some old newspaper ads from Bibby Bros Circus in Tasmania and Bibby Bros Buckjump show in NZ.

Do you have any info about my family in NZ?

Cheers and Merry Xmas

From: Jan
To: Gary
Subject: Bibby Bros Circus

Hi Gary,
Well, your email caught me by surprise and I rushed straight over to Mum’s to see if she had heard of your forebears. She didn’t even know there were Bibby’s down in the South Island – and it gave her a bit of a giggle that they should be in such a different range of work than her forebears.

Its kind of weird though that your grandad’s brother was Ted Bibby and my grandad was Ted Bibby as well, and that they both served in world war one. Presumably your Ted Bibby served in the Australian army, while mine served in the New Zealand army. I wonder if they ever met???

John, Edward, and James are very strong family names in our Bibby line (and they often married Mary’s) So it does make you wonder if we go back far enough whether there is a link – but its not immediately obvious since it seems your line came from Wales.

Do you have your family tree worked out beyond your Great Grandparents? Maybe if we follow the line back far enough we’ll find a common ancestor?

Our Bibby line definitely came from Lancashire in England.

Anyway great to hear from you.
I’ll show a few more Bibby’s your email and see if they’ve heard anything about your family.


From: Gary
To: Jan
Subject: Bibby Bros Circus

Hi Jan,
Thanks for your reply. I do not have much info on my Grand parents only what I have sent you.

You never know we could be related. As it is not a very common name.

Anyway have a great Xmas,
Gary Brophy

From: Viv
To: Jan
Subject: Bibby Bros circus

Hi Jan
I found this for you about the Bibby Bros Circus. It may be a small step in finding the original circus brothers. It became known as Brophy’s Circus.
Bye Now.
Viv Bibby

Norma’s father, Albert Emerys “Bert” Bibby came to Australia in 1906 from New Zealand with his two brothers,
John and Ted. All brilliant horsemen, they operated a Buckjump Circus Show. The three Bibby Brothers travelled their circus by horse and wagon until 1914, when the three brothers enlisted in what became known as the “Great War”.
On returning home, only Bert continued in show business, giving away the circus life, with his young family, he became a showman working the agricultural shows as a photographer.
His wife, Florance, passed away in 1920. In 1934, at the age of 50, Bert took a second wife, Norma’s mother, Violet Flora Hoyland-Monteith. Norma was born in Innisfail, Nth Qld., on the 14th Sept. 1936.

From: Jan
To: Viv
Subject: Bibby Bros circus
Hi Viv,

It is a bit of a laugh. I don’t know what the Early New Zealand Bibbys would think of the ‘Bibby Circus’ as I get the impression that they were quite serious business people – But it helps to make up a more colourful kaleidoscope of life doesn’t it? Life would be a bit boring if we were all the same.

Thanks so much for that info. It’s really interesting.

🙂 Jan