+ Mary Coleman 1769-1857

  • Born: maybe 1769 in Castle Cary, Somerset
  • Parents:  maybe John and Ann Colman
  • Married: John Oram 1772-1802 at North Cadbury in 1789
  • Offspring: Mary Oram c1790-after 1861, Ann(e) Oram 1792-after 1871, and John Oram 1800-1891. There may have been further offspring, see below
  • Died: buried 7 October 1857 age 87 years at Ditcheat, abode Alhampton.

It is highly probable that John Oram 1772-1802 and Mary Coleman of North Cadbury were married there by banns first published on 14 December 1789. John is described as of Almsford, another name for Ansford.

John died in 1802, well before the 1841 census so we know little about him. Mary was a ‘school mistress’ in Ditcheat, maybe in Alhampton when the 1841 and 1851 censuses were taken.   Mary probably taught in a Dame School providing private elementary education. The teachers in Dame Schools were usually women and were often located in the home of the teacher.

By the 1861 census Mary had died and her daughter Ann(e) was described as an ‘Infant school mistress’. This suggests that the local education system had become more formal, financed by charities with state aid prior to the 1870 Elementary Education Act that set the framework for schooling of all children between ages 5 and 12 in England and Wales.

For more on John and Mary’s first three offspring see the page for her son John 1800-1891.

Further offspring?

Frances born 16 January 1803 and baptised 23 January 1803 who could have been a
posthumously born daughter of John. The Ditcheat registers state that Frances Oram was the offspring of John and Mary. A Frances Oram was transported to Australia after a court case in Taunton but that Frances was probably born c.1810 and married David Huntley in Australia. A Frances Utley, father’s name ‘unknown Oram’ died in Newtown, NSW on 6 February 1869 and buried in Pioneers Memorial Park, Leichhardt.

Sarah, ‘their’ final child does cause us problems as she was born 31 March 1808 and
baptised 24 April 1808, almost six years after John’s supposed death. Her burial is recorded in Ditcheat in 1847 when age 39 goes with her birth date. Therefore Sarah should be included in the 1841 census. The best fit is 28 year old Sarah Oram servant to William Vincent in Wraxhall, Ditcheat.

So we need to find out if

  • John died later, or
  • were two John and Mary Orams in Ditcheat
  • or was Sarah the bastard daughter of widow Mary, school teacher but the parson chose to legitimise her birth by stating that her parents were John and Mary. Maybe her natural father was called John.
  • These are just a few of the possibilities, there could have been two John Orams born in 1772.

Go to John Oram 1772-1802 branch page

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