Charles Kerr Ellis was born on 26 Jul 1835 at the Citadel Barracks on the Ionian island of Corfu. His parents were Colour Sergeant Charles Ellis (1807-1891) of the 11th Infantry Regiment and Mary Ann Kerr (1814-1881) who married in Corfu on 19 Jul 1834. Two sisters were born in Corfu: Jane (1836-1837) and Caroline (1838-1923). A brother James was born in Quebec, Canada, in 1839. He died in Hobart in 1928.
C K Ellis was apprenticed as a carpenter and later became a building contractor in Hobart. He married Harriet Ann Coward, daughter of Charles Coward and Harriet Hills, on 13 Apr 1864 in Hobart. Their first four children were born in Hobart: Spencer, 1865; Hedley, 1869; George, 1874 and Harriet, 1877. The family moved to Launceston in 1881 where the youngest child, Harold, was born in 1882. C K Ellis was involved with the Order of the Good Templars, Masonic Lodges and Druids. He was secretary of the Launceston Workmen's Club for many years. He died on 23 May 1917 in Launceston, and his wife died on 4 Feb 1929. They were both buried at Carr Villa. In his obituary Mr Ellis was said to have been 'possessed of a genial and kindly nature'.