The Harmans arrived in Byaduk around 1863, one of the early families in the area. Peter Fraser’s Early Byaduk Settlers credits family head, Joseph as the first shoemaker in Byaduk. He may not have been alone for long as Bailliere’s Victoria Post Office Directory of 1869 lists both Joseph Harman and John Hurrell as shoemakers in the town. Joseph had worked as a shoemaker in Melbourn, Cambridgeshire as well as an agriculture labourer.
Joseph Harman was born in Melbourn around 1805 and married Sarah Mulberry in 1827. Their first son James died as a baby, but Sarah had another 12 babies over the next 22 years. The 1841 and 1851 Census both show the family living in Drury Lane, Melbourn. In 1852, they said goodbye to their newly married son James and his wife Susan who were sailing for Australia. In 1854, they again said their farewells as their next three sons, George, Jonathan, and Reuben followed the path of James and Susan to Australia. However, by the time the boys arrived in Sydney, Joseph along with Sarah and youngest children Sarah (10), Walt (9), and Alfred (2) were themselves sailing for Sydney.
The Harman family sailed on the “Queen of England” on September 30, 1854. To that point, there are four children I cannot fully account for, Mary Ann (born 1829), Arthur (born 1842), Ann (1848) and Elizabeth (1849). I have found death records for two other children of Joseph and Sarah, but not these four. I do feel confident I may find Mary Ann and am now following a lead on her.
The Queen of England arrived in Sydney in early January 1855. The five Harmans disembarked and reunited with the three boys who had been in New South Wales for two months. I lose them for a couple of years, although Joseph’s death certificate states he resided in New South Wales for two years. I am looking around the Maitland area for them. By 1858 they had reached Port Fairy and, after six years, the family reunited.
Joseph died at Byaduk in 1893 at the ripe old age of 89. Sarah had died 13 years earlier. Joseph’s obituary in the Hamilton Spectator perhaps gives some insight into Joseph’s character and maybe even relations between him and his sons. It stated that Joseph was a Methodist, who became a Presbyterian. Considering James and George’s standing in the Methodist church, I wonder how this decision by Joseph was accepted.
Both Joseph and Sarah were buried at the Byaduk Cemetery. While there is no visible headstone for the pair, there is a large plot enclosed by a rusted wrought iron fence I believe is their resting place. It is surrounded by graves of other Harman family members in a picturesque corner of the cemetery.