Born: 22 Dec 1849 Manston, Dorset, England, baptised: 10 Jun 1850 Manston
Siblings: John Samuel Oram 1847 – 1913
Arthur Talbott Oram 1853 – 1919
James Henry Oram 1857 – 1918
Alfred William Oram 1861 – 1942
Caroline Susannah Oram 1863 – 1947
Emma Agnes Oram 1865 – 1955
Lily Louisa Oram 1867 – 1952
Edith Mabel Oram 1870 – 1951
Letitia Kathleen Oram 1872 – 1942
Married: William Puttock 1854- 19 Oct 1882 Somerset, England probably at Lovington
Lived in: Manston and Iwerne Minster, Dorset, England; Burrishoole, Newport, Co Mayo, Ireland; Clinsfold, Slinfold, Sussex, England; Wilford Lodge, Newport, Co Mayo, Ireland; Lovington, Somerset, England; Australia; Bristol, Keinton Mandeville, Lovington and Little Weston, Somerset, England
Died: 30 Mar 1945 at Yeovil, Somerset, England, buried in Weston Bampfylde churchyard, Somerset
For this write up much help came from Jane’s daughter: Emma Agnes Puttock. She is referred to a “Babs” in the text because this was her name to the family.
Jane was the eldest and very pretty daughter of John and Jane Oram, born at Manston in Dorset on December 22nd 1849. She was christened at home because she was a very delicate baby and the doctor feared that she may not live. After this inauspicious beginning, it is interesting to reflect that Jane lived longer than any of her brothers or sisters – dying at the ripe age of 95 years.
Until her sister, Caroline, was born (when Jane was 13 1/2) she had been the only daughter. This had meant that Jane always acted as her mother’s helpmate and when she left school at 17 she stayed at home, caring for her younger sisters and managing the home, as her mother’s health was not good. She also had many interesting tales to tell of the times she accompanied her father to the local weddings and wakes which was one of his duties as agent. When she was three years old the family moved to Burrishoole, Co. Mayo. Here she attended a private Protestant Girls School in Westport. Jane had a very happy childhood and was very fond of her schoolmistress, Mrs. Alcock, who was a friend of the family.
When Jane was 21 her father took her to England to visit her relatives in Somerset and left her there for a long holiday when he returned to Burrishoole. She obviously had very happy time and received a warm welcome as she stayed with each family in turn….
In 1874 the family moved to Slinfold in Sussex. It was here that Jane met William Puttock, only son of William and Emma Puttock – both his parents had died when he was young. After leaving boarding school at 17, he lived with his uncles and aunts at Dedisham Farm, Slinfold, where Puttocks had farmed for over 300 years; but William decided that he did not wish to carry on the farm, so made up his mind to go to New Zealand. About this time the Oram family decided to move back to Ireland. Before they parted – Jane for Ireland and William for New Zealand – they became engaged.
William returned to England to claim the hand of his bride just after the Oram family moved to Lovington. They were married on October 19th 1882 at Lovington Church. They then had a 6-month honeymoon. One of the places they visited was Wilford. How Jane enjoyed meeting her Irish friends and relations and introducing them to William. One of the Irish peasant maids, Biddy, who used to work for the Oram family, gave Jane a pair of blankets which she had woven on a loom in her cabin made from the wool of their sheep. Jane valued those blankets – they travelled to Australia and back and 88 years later, one of them is still in use in her daughter’s home. They were well-made and strong, says her daughter, Babs.
In May 1883 Jane and William went to Australia. They had intended to reach New Zealand, but Jane suffered so much from seasickness on the whole 6-week voyage that they decided to stop at Sydney, Australia and settled in a home at Wallsend, New South Wales. Their first three children were born there – 2 boys and a girl. (The eldest boy, William, died when he was 2 months old.)
Jane did not like Australia and wished to return to England. William suggested that she should do so with the 2 small children and that as he had longed to tour Northern Australia for several years, he should do this before returning home to England. So William took his family as far as Adelaide, then left to go up North, whilst Jane and the children (Caroline 3 years and James 3 months) sailed for home.
Daphne ended Jane’s story with:
Her nephew, James Oram, said that “Aunt Jane was a really wonderful person. She did not have the easiest of lives in her young days, but always kept her sense of humour.”
Now, forty years later, we would like to review Jane and William’s story so far. With the help of genealogy websites and Jane’s father John’s diaries that were not fully accessible to Daphne we can add to Jane’s story as told by Babs, Jane Charity’s daughter Emma Agnes.
The oral tradition is that when she was 21, Jane was taken to meet her Somerset relations. Looking at her father John’s diaries, the trip that would most likely be this one was in May 1871 when he visited London and Somerset, but the diaries do not mention if he was accompanied by Jane.
The information on William’s early life is supported by the review of the documentary trail he left as described in William Puttock.
Numerous members of the family told Daphne that the family was unhappy about Jane and William’s betrothal and were glad when, about five years after William had left for the Antipodes, it looked as if Jane was likely to marry someone else. When asked, multiple family members freely told Daphne this “more suitable” man’s name, which has now been forgotten. Here Daphne, as documentarian, had a dilemma because Babs and her family categorically denied these stories. Daphne decided not to hurt Jane’s family’s feelings.
Our only other sources of information on Jane’s next few years are from her father John’s diaries and Australian records.
31/8/1882 W Puttock came
19/10/1882 Jane married to William Puttock
8/12/1882 Jane & Wm from Ireland
23/2/1883 W Puttock from London
28/2/1883 Jane & Willm left for New Zealand
30/6/1883 Recd letters from Sydney & papers
1883 Birth: John W Puttock to William Puttock and Jane Charity, Maitland West, NSW
1883 Death: John W Puttock, parents William & Jane, Wallsend, NSW
In the 1960s Babs told Daphne that baby John died when he was two months old.
10/11/1884 Letter from Jane
12/9/1887 Letters … Jane’s coming from Australia
23/9/1887 Letter from Jane from Naples
26/9/1887 Jane arrived from Australia
Babs related that “Jane stayed for a while with her parents in Lovington, Somerset then took a drapery business in Bristol and made a home for her family – William returned and joined them there after his Australian tour. A few months before Emma Agnes “Babs” was born on October 12th 1889, Jane sold her business and moved to a private house in Bristol. Three months after Babs was born, William had a breakdown and the family thought it would be best for him to return to a warmer climate for a season.”
7/11/1887 Letter containing w. Puttock’s draft for £100 returned from Australia & lodged in ??y’s Bank C Cary
26/12/1887 Baptized Jane’s children at N Barrow
6/1/1888 To Yeovil consulting Mr D?? on Jane’s business
31/1/1888 Jane to Yeovil
27/2/1888 Bristol for Jane
26/3/1888 Jane left for Bristol
14/2/1889 To Bristol settled with Willm Puttock
18/4/1889 Jane & children from Bristol
12/10/1889 Emma Agnes (Babs) born in Bristol
17/10/1889 Sent sack of vegetables to Bristol
13/12/1889 Bristol W Puttock’s affair
20/12/1889 Sparkford to meet Jane & children
21/12/1889 To Sparkford Brot Jane & children home
7/1/1890 W.Puttock came
At this point the oral tradition says that William returned to Australia, where he died. In 2012 we are unable to follow William’s fortunes after he left his family in 1889 but hope to do so as more Australian and New Zealand records become available online.
11/3/1890 Took cottage for Jane
9/4/1890 To Keinton with Jane’s furniture
10/4/1890 Jane & children left for Keinton
17/8/1890 Baptized EA Puttock at Keinton Church
Keinton refers to Keinton Mandeville where Jane and her children were living during the 1891 census. From there they moved a few miles east to Dairy House, Lovington close to Charity Farm where Jane’s parents were living. Babs had a “marvellously happy childhood” at Lovington. In September 1892 John and Jane moved five miles south to Little Weston while Jane and her family remained in Lovington until after the 1901 census. Babs has left us her interesting memories of visits to Little Weston.
Jane moved to Little Weston to live with her parents when her mother was in her mid-seventies.
9 /4/1904 To Lovington – Jane moving
John gives no hint as to where Jane was moving to. The Puttocks visited Little Weston later in April then there are no references to Jane and only one of Lovington until:
29/9/1905 Jane moved here
Babs continued to say that Jane remained in Little Weston until 18 months after her parents died. Jane died in April 1906 and John in April 1907. Jane then moved to Somerton where she bought a millinery business for her daughter, Babs. This business was sold in 1911 when Babs married William Fox – and Jane went to live with them in Yeovil until her death in 1945.
Babs finished her story with a tribute to Jane: “It was a pleasure to care for her and nurse her. We were very happy together. Mother was good company and loved by all. She was with us for 34 years. Her wish was that when the time came she be laid to rest as near her parents’ graves as possible [in Weston Bampfylde Churchyard] – which we did.”