John Oram 1824-1907

Our great-great grandfather John Oram was born in Castle Cary, Somerset youngest offspring of dairy farmers James Oram 1774-1839 and Susannah nee Bartlett 1782-1838. In 1847 John married Jane Talbott 1829-1905 daughter of Sparkford wheelwright Samuel Talbott and Charity nee Way. In 1853 John and Jane moved to Burrishoole, County Mayo, Ireland where John and later his son Arthur were farmers and agents for local and absentee landlords. In 1881 John and Jane returned to their native area of Somerset to farm at Lovington and eventually retired to Little Weston, Weston Bampfylde.

Insert Wedding 1892 image.

The life of John Oram 1824-1907 and his descendants was the subject of the “Oram Family Saga” written by our parents in the 1960s and early 70s and based on oral tradition. This was the start of our interest in our family history and when we cleared our family home we  inherited getting on for a thousand photographs (many duplicated) and the diaries of John’s son Arthur 1853-1919. Later our cousin Charlotte inherited John diaries starting in 1854 and we donated all the diaries and over 500 photographs and documents to University College Dublin. Images of the diaries are available on

UCD Digital Library

We created a website to give the background family history to the diaries and showcasing  the best of the photographs

The Oram Family at Burrishoole

John’s diaries covering his 1857 visit to Somerset and Dorset

In 1857 John made his first visit back home to Somerset and Dorset.  It is interesting to see where he visited but we do not always know why. The diaries continue after John returned to Somerset in 1881 until a few days before he died. Occasionally local people are mentioned but the Somerset diaries are mainly og agricultural history interest.

Page of John’s Diary (for larger image and transcription go here)

Carolyn and Chris

Map: With icons numbered in order they appear in diary

View John Oram 1857 visit to England in a larger map

Weston Bampfylde
John’s father had run a dairy farm in the village in the 1830s.  Weston Bampfylde could also refer to Little Weston, a hamlet within the parish where John’s sister Mary Hockey may have been living.
Little Weston
By the 1861 census John’s sister Mary Hockey was living in the hamlet, in the parish of Weston Bampfylde.  If she had moved there from Sparkford by 1857 John may have stayed at her house.
Home village of John’s wife Jane nee Talbott. John would have visited Jane’s father Samuel Talbott whose wife Charity had died in the previous summer. John’s sister Mary may have been living in the village prior to moving to Little Weston.
West Camel
Charlton Horethorne
John probably visited some of the relations of his wife Jane Talbott. Census returns show Talbotts living in the village but we have not established their relationship to Jane.
Okeford Fitzpaine
John’s sister Elizabeth Guppy was living in the village and John probably stayed a night at her home.
West Lodge
Home of Captain Wyndham, John’s employer and owner of the Burrishoole Estate in County Mayo, Ireland.
John had lived in Manston around 1850. The family had moved east to Iwerne Minster before moving to Ireland. Some local men went to Ireland with John so he probably visited their families.
John’s brother William was the dairyman on Lord Portman’s estate at Bryanston.
Queen Camel
South Barrow
John’s cousin James Bartlett lived at Parsonage Farm
John’s cousin Samuel Bartlett lived at Standerwick Farm, Foddington, Babcary

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