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.