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James KEY

James KEY, son of Oliver and Sarah KEY (nee WADE), married Sarah PICKETT (1784-1858) about 1811 in London.

They had the following children:

1 Mary Ann KEY Born: 12 Jun 1813 - No 6, Angel Court, Leadenhall Street, London Christened: 4 Jul 1813 - St Katherine Cree Church, Leadenhall St, London Died: Before 1821

2 George Rookes KEY Born: 11 Oct 1814 - St John Street, Clerkenwell, London Christened: 1 Jan 1815 - St James, Clerkenwell, London Died: 5 Sep 1867 - Melbourne Hospital, Vic Buried: 8 Sep 1867 - Melbourne General Cemetery, Vic

3 Sarah KEY Born: 31 Dec 1815 - Hartshorn Alley, London, ENG Christened: 17 Mar 1816 - St Katherine Cree Church, Leadenhall St, London Died: 10 Jun 1894 - Hotham West, Victoria Buried: 11 Jun 1894 - Melbourne General Cemetery, Vic

4 James KEY Born: 17 Mar 1818 Christened: 12 Apr 1818 - St Saviours, Southwark, ENG Died: Buried:

5 Mary Ann KEY Born: 31/9/1821 - Bermondsey Street, Surrey, London Christened: 3 Feb 1822 - St Mary Magdalene, Bermondsey, London Died: Bef 1858 Buried:

6 Ellen KEY Born: 29 Sep 1824 - Angel Court, London, ENG Christened: 24 Oct 1824 - St Katherine Cree Church, Leadenhall St, London Died: 16 Mar 1875 - Beardy's Plains NSW Buried:

7 Thomas Oliver (Oliver/Ollie) KEY Born: 10 Dec 1826 - Botolph Alley, Billingsgate, London, ENG Christened: 31 Dec 1826 - St Katherine Cree Church, Leadenhall St, London Died: 17 Sep 1905 - Glen Innes, NSW Buried: 18 Sep 1905 - Glen Innes, NSW

In 1812, the family was living at 6 Angel Court, Leadenhall Street in London. At that time, if you didn’t have fire insurance and a fire broke out in your home, the fire brigade would not attend, so James took out fire insurance with the Sun Fire Office.

James worked as a labourer and a porter and the family moved quite often. They lived at St John Street in Clerkenwell when their second child George Rookes was born, then 2 Hartshorn Alley, Leadenhall Street.

When their son James was born in 1818 they were living across the Thames at Holland Street in Surrey. At that time, James senior listed his occupation as a Victualler.

James and Sarah’s first child Mary Ann died sometime before 1821 and in September 1821, they had another girl and named her Mary Ann. At this time, they were living in Bermondsey Street, Surrey and James was working as a labourer.

Their last two children were born back in London – Ellen at Angel Court and Thomas Oliver at Botolph Alley, Billingsgate.

In the late 1820s or early 1830s, James and Sarah and their three youngest children (Mary Ann, Ellen and Thomas) emigrated to Australia. Their older sons George Rookes and James (aged 14 and 11) had already travelled to Western Australia as indentured servants, and their daughter Sarah may have stayed in London as she was old enough to be working and she later married there.

By 1839, the family were living at Dungog in NSW. James is also listed as a resident of Dungog in September 1840.

James was a farmer in Dungog before moving to the New England area.

Sarah died in 1858 at 'Clarevaulx', a station between Wellingrove and Glen Innes. Her death certificate lists both of her daughters named Mary, deceased by this time.

In 1859, James took up a land grant of 77 acres at Stonehenge, south of Glen Innes. The property borders the current New England Highway and Stonehenge Creek and was named 'Plainview'.

James died on June 5, 1875 and was buried under a row of English elm trees on the southern boundary of 'Plainview'. For many years there was a mound of stones marking his burial place, however these were removed and the paddock ploughed over in more recent times.