James John Dearman
The rather striking portrait above is painted by Burt Silverman. It is entitled The Plasterer which is why it has been chosen to represent James John Dearman, whose trade it was. The portrait is modern, but it is also timeless. The trade itself is one of those that has been less affected by modern technologies than some. The plaster itself has changed but plasterers still use trowels after all. And besides the Dearmans are a good-looking lot - another reason for choosing this portrait.
James John Dearman is my husband’s grandfather, and we know quite a lot about him, in terms of documentation at least, but as always there are a number of critical questions about the motivation behind some events which remain unanswered and probably always will remain so - mostly because, once again, we did not personally know him.
There is no photograph that I know of. My husband’s father married late in life, and hence his father was of another era altogether to my own grandparents, and was a long time dead before my husband was born. There seems to have been no contact with the Bridgend Dearmans, (James John spent most of his life there) who may well have photographs. If any of you see this we would love to hear from you.
James John was born almost exactly in the middle of the nineteenth century and died the year before World War One. He was a Victorian and would have witnessed at first hand the massive industrialisation and urbanisation that took place in the nineteenth century, as he travelled around the country from one new growth centre to another. Indeed he must have contributed to the growth of the towns in which he settled. It was an era in which people were on the move, and in his youth he was one of those men, although he eventually settled in Bridgend, Glamorgan. Wales is a long way from his home village (for village it was then) of Enfield, but he surely must have liked it or else he would have returned to his roots.
His life falls into three neat and quite separate segments - so separate in fact that one sometimes finds oneself asking is this the same man?
James John Dearman
b 27 April 1854, Enfield, Middlesex
m Agnes Ashmore 9 November, 1874, Alfreton, Derbyshire
13 September, 1886, Cardiff
d 28 December 1913, Cardiff
James John 1875-?
Arthur John 1887-1962?
William Ewart 1890-1937
Alfred James 1891-1972
Sydney Alban 1894-?
Blanche Winifred 1896-1980
Sydney Alban 1900-1941
George Oswald 1902-1980
Netta Louise 1907-1933
IGI baptism record
Both marriage certificates
Death certificate of first wife
Census for 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901
Birth certificates of son Arthur John
From the same root as Jacob meaning ‘supplanter’. James is much more common though - indeed it is extremely common, and is probably more associated with one of the Jameses in the Bible. Also, of course, there were a couple of Kings of England called James. There are three generations of James in the Dearman line.
Hamish, Jacob, Jack
Jim, Jimmy, Jimbo, Jamie
A Hebrew name meaning ‘Jehovah has favoured’. An extremely popular name down through the ages - mostly because of the biblical characters who bore the name.
Evan, Giovanni, Jonathan, Johan, Ivan, Jenkin, Sean, Juan, Jean
Johnny, Johnno, Jack, Jackie, Jacko