Melville Martin Stephenson was born in Hobart on 28 Jun 1873, the sixth of eleven children of Rev. Francis Ewans Stephenson (1829-1885), a Wesleyan Minister, and his wife Louisa Ann Hobday (1838-1922). The Stephensons had arrived in Tasmania from Victoria in 1873 before Melville was born. Rev. Stephenson died at his residence in New Town on 4 Sep 1885 and the family moved to Launceston before 1891.
On 17 Apr 1902 Melville married Theodora Clyne French at the home of her parents, James French and Sarah, nee Bushby. They had four children: Eleanor in 1905 on King Island; Jessie in 1907 at 311 Brisbane Street, Launceston; Gerald in 1909 on King Island and an unnamed boy at 14 Erina Street, East Launceston. Melville was a grazier at Loorana on King Island, before buying 'Barnbougle' near Bridport in 1924. He and his son Gerald developed it into a productive property. By 1936 Melville had moved to 126 Darling Road, Malvern East, Victoria. He died in 1948. His wife Theodora returned to Tasmania and died on 8 Feb 1969.