I know very little about William Dearman but I recently did a little bit more research and have cobbled together a partly factual, partly speculative short life story.
The bald facts are that he was the father of Joseph, James and John, all of them transported to Australia for various thefts. He was married to Ann Mason in 1797 in Essendon, where all of the known children were christened. Though, since none of them were called William or Ann, one must suspect that there were others.
I also know that he worked on the Bedwell Park Estate owned by Samuel Whitbread, but not much else.
The portrait I have chosen is a self-portrait by one John Opie, so not at all the same kind of person as William but it is about the right date, and has the right sort of look about him I think. Well how I imagine him to be anyway.
married Ann Mason 26 June, 1797 in Essendon
Sarah c 26 June 1797
Joseph c 16 June 1799 (IGI)
Mahalah c 29 January 1800 (IGI)
Mahalah c 29 January 1804 (IGI)
John c 20 May 1808 (IGI)
(one of the entries for Mahalah is probably incorrect, because the day is the same and just the year is different, although it may be that the first one died.)
IGi records for children’s baptisms
IGI record for marriage
Son James’ convict record
One of the most popular names in the English-speaking world through all time. In England it probably all began with William the Conqueror. It’s origin is Teutonic and means will, resolve and helmet.
Guillaume, Gwilym, Wilhelm
Bill, Billy, Will, Willy, Wills is a current version.
• Hertfordshire Archives and Libraries Service
• Essendon - British History Online