Ataman of the Don Cossack Voisko from 1702 to his death in 1708, Efrem Petrov established the Efremov family as one of the leading families in the Don territory.
Efrem Petrov fought against the Swedish army in the Great Northern War, and lead the Don Cossacks in the Livland campaign of 1702. During the Bulavin rebellion in 1707-1708, triggered by tensions between the Imperial government and the Don Cossacks, Efrem Petrov became a strong supporter of Peter the Great. The present kovsh, given to him in 1707, was most likely a reward for his loyal service. During the Bulavin’s siege of Cherkassk Efrem Petrov was assassinated in 1708.