Jump to content

Chapman ; Lightley


Recommended Posts


I live in Australia and have started my family tree.  Have found my English families came from Bedlington and they were miners.  The Chapmans who came here also were miners in Wollongong NSW.  These are all things I am learning now as I have no relatives alive.  I want to put as much together as I can for my children to see how their ancestors lived and worked.  I found this site.  Thought I would join in, but I have to admit not to being very apt at forums.  Just wanted to say hello and look forward to checking out the site.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome ajeans - naturally the names, when you get to most of our ages, sound familiar. Never knew any Chapman's or Leightley's personally but there are a couple of Barrington County Primary schools photos, from the 1950s. Barrington school was was on the ouskirts of Bedlington Station and many pupils were from Bedlington Station. One of the photos has a George Chapman, in the same year as my brother so will have been born 1945. Another has a Marlene Leightley taken c1959 and the kids look about 5-6 year olds.   

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

Hi ajeanes!  My uncle Harry Chapman,[deceased many years ago,R.I.P.Harry],lived in Ashington,although I don't know where he was born.

Strangely enough,as time went by,and my Aunt Lily Chapman re-married,her second Husband died soon after.

Their adopted Daughter Florence,emigrated a lot of years ago,to Australia,taking her "Mother" [Aunt Lil] with her.

Aunt Lil died a few years ago,and Florence still lives over there.

I wonder if she knew of any relations in the Chapman family,that might have lived over there,as being the reason to want to live there,or maybe just

a co-incidence of names,it IS a lovely place to live after all !! 

I will have my older Sisters asked if they have any info on the Chapman family.

The only other Chapman I can think of was a teacher at West Sleekburn middle school,for a lot of years till it closed down.

He lives over the Wansbeck Estate.

Not a lot of useful info,I'm afraid!

Best of luck in your search!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 years later...

Hello ajeanes

I found your 2014 post by doing a Chapman Bedlington internet search. We will be related as my great-grandmother is Jane Hunter nee Chapman born Bedlington 1866/1867, the youngest child of James and Mary Ann Chapman (nee Barber) originally of Norfolk. James and Mary Ann, youngest son William, and Jane immigrated to Sydney on the Samuel Plimsoll, arriving 12/6/1879. Jane married Peter Scott Hunter, a baker, born c.1861 in Edinburgh at her parents' home in Campbelltown on 1/11/1884. My maternal grandmother, Elizabeth Barbara, was their first born of 12 children. She was born 13/7/1885. Elizabeth married Albert Edward Latter (b Plymouth) at St Michael's Wollongong on 27/12/1904. Albert was also a miner at Mt Keira, but the family moved to Balmain in 1919 so their sons would not go down the mines. My mother Joyce is the youngest of their 9 children. She was born in Balmain in 1920 and is still living.

Beware the public family trees on Ancestry: there is only one that is correct for our Mary Ann Barber. The clue to the correct genealogy is the note on the shipping record for Mary Ann Chapman: that Mary Ann has a relative, Bryant Ricks [i.e., Rix] in the Colony. Bryant Rix lived in Warwick, Qld. He was the son of James Bryant and Martha Rix (not married) so was Mary Ann Chapman's half-brother.

I have only recently discovered that Jane's other two brothers, John Thomas (also Thomas John!) and Samuel also immigrated to Sydney (c1883?). As you say, they were miners in Wollongong. Jane's 2 sisters, Mary Ann Tubby and Sarah Gaskin, remained in Bedlington. Just last month I went to the Woronora Cemetery open day (Mum's parents Elizabeth and Albert Latter are there). I found the plaques for Samuel Chapman (d 26/3/1942 at 55 Bligh St, Wollongong), his wife Lydia, and their son Samuel.

Mary Ann is buried at the Congregational and Methodist Cemetery in Wollongong (d 19/5/1886 of bronchitis at Hardwick St, Campbelltown), James is buried in the Methodist section at Rookwood (unconfirmed), Jane (d 1944) and husband Peter are buried in the Anglican section at Rookwood (no headstone). John Thomas Chapman d 17/4/1919 and is buried in the Wesleyan section of Wollongong Cemetery. I do not have any information on what happened to William. It is a common name with no definite matches on NSW deaths register.

Hope this information helps.I need to do more work on James Chapman's line.

Chapman Jane pedigree p.jpg

Tuthill pedigree.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Rhonda Bee - have you tried using this method - '@ + members name' or sending a personal message.

I see from the info on the system it was Oct 2014 when @ajeanes last visited this site. 



Edited by Eggy1948
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you Eggy1948 - I have done this now.

And thank you Maggie/915. I thought you might like to know more about these Bedlingtonians in NSW. I delayed replying while I checked for information on William Chapman again. This was fruitful.

I would think that moving from Norfolk farmlands to the coal mines of Bedlington was a brave decision. I wonder why the Chapmans moved? I found James Chapman was born in Cawston and Mary Ann Barber in Salle. In the 1861 Census James is an agricultural labourer “near Dalling [Wood],” Heydon.  Son William (b 1863) and daughter Jane (b 1867) were born in Guide Post. In the 1871 Census the family are living in the Back Row, Scotland Gate. The elder sons, John, aged 15, and Samuel, aged 13, are miners. Father James is a labourer, so it was not the case that James was unable to work and that the sons had to go down the mines.

In the 1871 Census, I also found the Tubby family from Cawston living in Guide Post. There are no persons named Tubby – a Norfolk name that appears back in Jane's pedigree – living in Northumberland in the 1861 Census. I cannot imagine that there was a recruitment drive in Norfolk for miners for the new Choppington mines.

And then an even braver decision: as described in my earlier post, James and Mary Ann,  at advanced age for the times (ages on immigration details 50 and 54 respectively), take their two youngest children and immigrate to New South Wales! They leave behind their other 2 daughters, Mary Ann and Sarah, and other 2 sons; also, James’ father, Samuel is still alive when they leave (he had remarried in 1851) according to the immigration records.

If the decision was for warmer climes as well as opportunity for the children, it is sad that Mary Ann died of bronchitis only seven years later.

Reports from their parents must have been positive for sons John and Samuel to follow some four years later, although they both remained coal miners: John and wife Jane initially settling in the coal mining area of the Hunter Valley, where they had sons, then settling in another coal mining area at Wollongong south of Sydney. Samuel and wife Lydia also settled in Wollongong.

My great-grandmother Jane moved around NSW with her husband Peter Hunter. There would be no trouble getting work as a baker. They moved every 2-3 years, travelling by train. The youngest child, Jessie, was born in 1911 in the tiny village of Wongarbon, near Dubbo in western NSW. Peter and Jane lived in suburban Sydney at the end of their lives.

How Bedlington-born William Chapman’s life’s journey went I cannot determine. The name is too common to find out if he married and had children or where he lived, but I did find newspaper accounts of the death of a William Chapman who died suddenly of a heart attack on 17/1/1916 at Dubbo, having walked with a mate from Wongarbon that day (about 12 miles). They had made camp and were looking for labouring work. The mate said that William had a sister living in Sydney. This William’s death was registered with parents unknown. He was 54, so age and place suggests that he was very likely Jane’s brother. He was buried in the Dubbo cemetery. Perhaps William lived with, or near Jane and Peter as they travelled around.

John Chapman and his son “Geordie” died months apart in 1919 in Wollongong, perhaps of the pneumonic flu: there was an epidemic at this time. John died at home, Geordie at the emergency hospital that had been built to cope with the cases of flu.

Samuel and his wife Lydia lived full lives. Samuel died in March 1942 at home in Wollongong and Lydia in October of the same year.

I do not have any contact with Jane’s descendants, but you can be sure that there is plenty of her Bedlington blood in Australia today.


  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rhonda Bee somewhere in the depths of this website there are some letters written in the 1800's from your part of the World back to Bedlington. The family were Methodist ( I seem to remember) and it gives an insight into the past . I found them while 'spoaching' through a few years ago.

Amazingly people travelled huge distances to work. I think the railways were, in part , a reason plus all the usual. A friend born in the NE found her family in Devon in the late 1800's. Tales of people walking huge distances to find work are not uncommon.

My own ancestors can now be found around the World. Many occupations allowed people to live a healthy life and  large families lived and thrived.

Somewhere I have a book on the 'Navies' which makes interesting reading. I suppose there are lots of other interesting reasons for movement. A visitor to Bedlington last year was adopted by a couple whose ancestors moved to California for health reasons.

The common thread is often that these people never forget the importance of Bedlington in their lives .

It is good to be in contact with people around the World.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create a free account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Hide Adverts

  • Latest News

    • Get the latest Northumberland news and updates delivered straight to your inbox
      All they want to do is cradle their newborn baby in their arms.
      But Bedlington parents Carly Walker and Ryan Murphy have been forced to watch from the sidelines as their daughter fights for her life.
      Little Ayda Faith Murphy was born prematurely on March 31, weighing just 4lbs, at Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary.
      Rushed for her first operation straight after birth and another at just four days old, she's battling terrifying odds after being diagnosed with a series of incredibly rare birth defects.
      An almost unique variant of gastroschisis, a defect of the abdominal wall, has left her intestines pushing up into her chest - a condition doctors estimate is suffered by no more than 10 babies worldwide.
      Meanwhile, her heart appears to have flipped over and lies on the wrong side of her chest, while she's receiving oxygen from a machine due to her underdeveloped lungs.
      Keep up-to-date with all the latest news in the county by visiting our Northumberland Live homepage.
      You can sign up to our daily Northumberland newsletter here.
      Facebook: Here's our main Northumberland page.
      Twitter: You can follow the Northumberland Live page here.
      Find The Journal's Northumberland editions on the British Newspaper Archive here.

  • Latest Topics

  • Create New...