Born in Benalla, Vic., one of at least four children, to a court official, Henry Carige (c.1801-1882), and Mary Willey nee Gaskin (c.1813-1911).
In 1870, Ellen married William Christopher Burkitt (c.1838-1908), a settler from SA, and they had four children. Ellen's husband ran 'Tinga Tingana' (or Tingatingarna), 'Ediacara', and 'Montpena' sheep stations, and was stock inspector for Mr L. Conrad and the Walkerville District Council.
Ellen collected MEL specimens near Lake Blanche, near Lake Torrens, and at 'Tingatingarna Station', 1884-1885. Her husband also collected MEL specimens.
In 1937, Ellen died in Penola of bronchitis at the age of 76. [death notice in SA The Register 19/7/1916 says "aged 75"]
One letter from Ellen to Mueller, and one letter from Mueller to Ellen survive.
Source: extracted from: Maroske, Sara and Vaughan, Alison (2014) 'Ferdinand Mueller's female plant
collectors: a biographical register', Muelleria Vol.32 [consult for source references]