William Dearman The children
The picture is not quite right - it’s French and it is also from an earlier time - the seventeenth century. However I do not think that peasant/agricultural workers’ children’s clothes changed all that much over the centuries so it will have to do as a representation of this small family of two girls and three boys. It’s a good picture anyway.
I am not at all sure that there weren’t other children - you would expect a William and an Ann for example, but I cannot find any. I have also ignored the potential Mary - from a previous marriage with Elizabeth - because really I think this is a different William’s child. So let’s go with what we definitely know.
One thing we know is that the three boys were all transported to Australia, one of them being the direct ancestor. We have lived in Australia since 1969 and made it our home, so it was truly exciting to discover a convict ancestor. But then to discover two more too. I could not resist researching them and so have a fair bit of information. Hence they have each been allotted their own page (the two brothers) and the direct ancestor, of course, has a whole story.
But there were others.
Mahalah was the next born and the only other girl and I know nothing about her either. There are two christenings (I have actually sighted the records), but curiously on the same date, although two years apart. Did one die? Was she christened twice? Is it some sort of typographical error? And where oh where does that name come from? Interestingly there are at least two other Mahalahs in Essendon at about the same time. You would think they must be related in some way. Anyway I have absolutely no other information about her at all.
Sarah was christened on the same day as her parents’ marriage (June 26th 1797), which I have to say does imply that she really was the first born child and there was not an earlier Ann or William. I find this curiously romantic, even though I suppose it could be seen as a forced marriage. Traditionally I think the first born girl child was named after her maternal grandmother - which should be a clue, but not one that has helped me much so far.
In honour of the Dearman story I tried really hard to find out what happened to Sarah but I have to say I have drawn a blank. The marriages I found and followed up on in later censuses don’t really match what we do know (her christening date and place), and I couldn’t find a definite death either. So a mystery for now.