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Rhonda Bee

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Rhonda Bee last won the day on May 18 2017

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About Rhonda Bee

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  • Birthday November 14

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    Mona Vale, Sydney, NSW, Australia
  • Interests
    Family history, photography, animal welfare
  1. Rhonda Bee

    Chapman ; Lightley

    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.
  2. Rhonda Bee

    Chapman ; Lightley

    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.