Ernest Tobyn Keon was the the son of Launceston clothier Philip Tobyn Keon (1839-1882) and Elizabeth Maria Glenwright who were married on 27 Apr 1867. His younger brother Frank Philip was born on 28 Nov 1869 but died a month later on 25 Dec. His mother Elizabeth (Lizzie) died of consumption aged 26 years on 7 Jan 1870 at her residence at St Georges Square, Launceston, when Ernest was two years old. His father Philip married Mary Crocker in 1875. They had four children: Edith, Philip, Cecily and Lavinia. Philip died aged 43 on 29 Jun 1882 at his residence in Frederick Street when Ernest was 14 years old. Ernest sang bass in the Exhibition Choir in 1891-92. He died on 6 Jan 1894, when only 26 years old. His funeral was held at the Church of the Apostles.