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James Dearman 1801-1834

James Dearman the convict is how I refer to him in my mind, although, of course, only part of his life was as a convict.  The drawing I have chosen to represent him is by Georges Seurat and is of a ploughman - one of his trades.    I chose this particular representation of a ploughman because it somehow conveys an impression of captivity and also deliberately does not show his face - which of course, we do not know.


So a hard life and a short one.  He was only 33 or so when he died.  I do not think of him as being very intelligent and I think that if he had been otherwise it might not have been such a bad life - for many convicts of this period ultimately made good.  Although a convict’s life was undoubtedly hard - brutal even, many convicts (including his brother John) came out of it at the end with opportunities that just did not exist back in England.  Yet our James threw it away by transgressing again.


And did he marry at the very young age of 14?  The evidence would seem to suggest this.  But she must have died, like his second wife - the ancestral maternal Dearman.  He married again - maybe he needed someone to look after the children, continued his criminal career and eventually was transported to the other side of the world.  A dramatic life - and one of which modern day Australians are proud, although it was not always so.  It’s ironic isn’t it, that if you committed a crime then we know more about you.

James Dearman

c 26 April 1801 in Essendon

m Sarah Barnett 21 October 1815 Enfield

m Sophia Ann Nightingale 1824? Enfield?

m Catherine Eves 1 March 1829 Enfield

d 18 October 1834 New Norfolk, Tasmania


Children

John Newman 1824-1871

James 1826-1908?

William 1828-1828

Robert 1831-?


Documentation

Parish record for baptism and two marriages

Convict records



James

origins

Hebrew, from the same root as Jacob, meaning ‘supplanter’  Not a very auspicious name.  I do not know if he was named after a relative.  A very popular name for all time, probably because of the apostle of that name.

variations

Seamus

abbreviations

Jim, Jimmy, Jamie, Jimbo.



Links

     •     Internet surname database

     •     Dearman surname list (rootsweb)

     •     Hertfordshire Archives and Libraries Service