In Broad Daylight

A few years ago, I wrote a post about the youngest son of Joseph Harman and Sarah Mulberry of Byaduk and formally of Melbourn, Cambridgeshire. “Alfred Winslow Harman – Stepping out of the Shadows” was so named because research for the post uncovered things about Alfred I hadn’t known.

Finding a photo of Alfred was the next aim and I thought I had just one shot at it…a photo of the Rupanyup Rifle Team c1880-90.  Having seen their great Facebook page, I thought I would contact the Rupanyup Historical Society.  I soon heard back from Helen, the society’s Secretary. The society had a meeting the following evening and the President was an expert on the Sargood Shield.   That was great news as the Rupanyup Rifle Club had great success in the Sargood Shield, a highly prized annual competition between Melbourne and country Victorian teams. Alfred was captain of the team in 1886.

Helen came back to me after the meeting and finally I was able to see Alfred Harman, out of the shadows and in broad daylight.  Helen had emailed me a photo of the 1885 Rupanyup Rifle Club. Alfred is the middle row, first on the left in this photo of the 1885.  To give you some idea about where he was in his life,  he was thirty-three years old, married for seven years and father to a six-year-old son.  His brother-in-law Samuel Miller is in the back row, third from the left.  There are some impressive Hairy Mancestors among them.

Image courtesy of the Rupanyup Historical Society.

Image courtesy of the Rupanyup Historical Society.

Thank you so much to the Rupanyup Historical Society.  Please go and check out their wonderful Facebook page on the link – Rupanyup Historical Society Facebook Page.  It was there I found WW1 photos of Alfred Harman’s great-nephews Robert and George Cruikshank, my 2nd cousins, 3 x removed,  who grew up in Rupanyup.  I also found photos of members of the Loats and Starbuck families who had lived in the Muddy Creek area, near Hamilton, and with whom I have family links.


Left Behind

I have told you about the original Harmans of Byaduk and their time in Cambridgeshire, their journey to Australia and their life beyond.  What I haven’t told you about is the family members that were left in England.

Yes, Joseph and Sarah Harman had children that did not make the voyage to Australia, thus never getting the opportunity to live the long and prosperous lives of their siblings.

For most of the children, it was death that robbed them of the life changing experience.  For Mary Ann, the eldest living daughter, it seems marriage and children sealed her fate.

The children of Joseph and Sarah that did not travel to Australia were:


James:  Born 1827, Cambridgeshire, Died 1827, Cambridgeshire

Mary Ann:  Born 1829, Melbourn, Cambridgeshire; Died 1873, Poplar, London.

Alfred:  Born 1833, Melbourn, Cambridgeshire; Died 1851, Melbourn, Cambridgeshire

Arthur: Born 1842, Melbourn, Cambridgeshire;  Died ?

Ann:  Born 1847, Melbourn, Cambridgeshire;  Died ?

Betsy/Elizabeth:  Born 1849, Melbourn, Cambridgeshire;  Died ?


James was first born of Joseph and Sarah but he died as a baby.  Alfred was the fourth born child and he appears on the 1841 England Census.  His death was registered in January 1851 thus missing the 1851 England Census.

It was that census in 1851 that Arthur, Ann and Betsy appeared, all born after the 1841 England Census.  The question is, what happened to them between 1851 and 1854 when Joseph and Sarah and three children sailed for Sydney?  I have not found death or marriage records for these three children.

Second born child and eldest daughter Mary Ann was married in 1847.  Her husband was James Loats, who was living with his family in the same street as the Harmans, Drury Lane, Melbourn.  After their marriage they continued to live in Drury Lane in their own house.

At the time, none of the family would have even heard of Australia let alone considered making it their home.  However, on three occasions from 1852,  Mary-Ann said goodbye to family members beginning their journeys to Australia.   It began with James and his new wife Susan sailing on the “Duke of Richmond in 1852.  Then the three boys, George, Jonathan and Reuben .

In 1854, the last goodbyes came when her parents sailed.  Around this time Mary Ann was living in London.  Maybe she was at the docks.

Mary Ann and James had 10 children that I can match on the various census and vital records.  The first three children were born in Melbourn,with the remaining seven born in London.  James was working as a labourer at a coke oven.  Mary Ann died in 1871 at just 43 leaving four children under 10.  Aside from her brother Reuben, all the siblings that immigrated to Australia lived to around double that age.

Recognition of the Harman family is clear with the names of the Loats children. Julia again proves  a popular Harman name, possibly the earliest record of that name in the family.


Betsy/Elizabeth: Born 1849, Melbourn, Cambridgeshire

Julia:  Born 1851, Melbourn, Cambridgeshire; Died 1856

Harriet Sarah:  Born 1852, Melbourn, Cambridgeshire;  Marriage:  Charles George Hazell, 1874 West Ham, London; Died:

Mary Ann Harman:  Born 1854, Camberwell, London

Wilfred:  Born 1857, Camberwell, London; Died 1857 Camberwell, London

Julia Mary Ann:  Born 1858, Rotherhite, Surrey; Died 1900 Holburn, London

Laura: Born 1861, Bromley Middlesex

Grace:  Born 1864, Bromley Middlesex

Joseph Harman:  Born 1867, Poplar, London

Jesse:  Born 1868, Bromley, Middlesex


I had always hoped I might find an Australian link  through the Loats line, especially as I know of the name from the Hamilton area.  I have found two links.

Firstly, aboard the “Duke of Richmond” with Susan and James Harman was Thomas Loats, the brother of James.  Thomas settled in the Western District.  It makes me wonder how close  James and Mary Ann may have come themselves to settle in  Australia.  What stopped them?

Secondly, thanks to the granddaughter of Joseph and Sarah Harman, Harriet Sarah Loats, I have found a link taking a Harman descendant where none have gone before.  However, this post has gone on long enough and I will need to dedicate a whole post to my exciting find.  Stay Tuned!  (That might be a clue).