Sarah Oram 1820 – 1869

A map of locations for places in England mentioned on this page 

John Oram’s evidence

It was not until 2012 that Chris and Carolyn knew Sarah’s date of birth when we discovered her brother John’s evidence in ‘The Guppy Case‘ in 1905.

“Sarah Oram (born 27th January, 1820), who married in July 1844, Charles Bewsey, and was another maternal aunt of the deceased, it is believed went to Melbourne in the Colony of Victoria, more than 50 years ago, and neither of the last named have since been heard of.”


In 1841, following the death of their parents in 1838 and 1839 Sarah and her siblings William, Susannah, Elizabeth and John were living at the family farm in Weston Bampfylde.

The family tree attached to The Oram Family Saga states that Sarah married Charles Burrey, but their marriage certificate, dated 16 July 1844 gives Sarah’s husband as Charles Bewsey. At the time of their marriage Sarah was a resident of Sparkford where she may have been living with her widowed sister Mary Hockey nee Oram. Charles was a resident of Trent and described himself as a ‘Yeoman‘. The Rimpton registers record Charles’ baptism on 4th May 1817, parents James and Mary. The witnesses to the marriage were Sarah’s sister Elizabeth Oram and James Guppy who were to marry in 1845.

In 1851 Charles and Sarah were living in Lovington, farming 20 acres of land and employing one living-in labourer but by the 1861 census Charles was the innkeeper of the Crown Inn at Drayton. Both returns give Charles’ birthplace as Rimpton and show no offspring.


Charles and Sarah arrived in Victoria on SS Vanguard on 11 March 1862. Therefore they should be included in the 1861 English census, but they appear to be missing.

Sarah Bewsey nee Oram: Death Certificate

Sarah’s death certificate shows that in 1869 they were living in Oxley, near Wangaratta, Victoria, Australia when she died after 21 days suffering from ‘dysentery and low fever’.   Charles must have lost their marriage certificate, see above as he made a number of mistakes on Sarah’s death certificate.  Firstly her father was James not William who was her brother and secondly they were married at Sparkford, not Rimpton where Charles had been born. In addition Sarah was 49 not 47 years old when she died, had been born in the village of Queen Camel not Rimpton and she had been 24 not 20 years old when they married.  His sixth mistake was that they had been living in Australia just over 7 years, not five.

One thing that is clear on the death certificate is that Charles and Sarah had no surviving offspring.

Charles Bewsey’s marriage to Mary Brolly nee Jackson

John and Mary Brolly and their five children had travelled from the Templemoyle Derry area of Ireland to Australia in 1863; another child was born during the voyage.  In Australia they settled in Wangaratta, Victoria  where gold had been found in 1852.  John Brolly died in 1868 and in 1870 his widow Mary married Charles Bewsey a year after Charles’ first wife Sarah had died in nearby Oxley.  Charles and Mary probably lived in Wangaratta as at least two of Mary’s offspring lived there in adult life.

Information on the Brolly family taken from

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