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Sarah KEY

Sarah KEY was the daughter of James Key and his wife Sarah (nee PICKETT).

James and his wife came to Australia in the late 1820s or early 1830s, with some of their children. It is not known whether Sarah came out to Australia with her parents. It is quite possible that at the age of 13 or 14 she was already working in London and may have stayed behind, as the first record found for her was her marriage in London.

In 1845, Sarah was living at Henry Place, Red Crop Street, Southwark when, at the age of 30, she married 35-year-old widower William PICKETT, a coachmaker. William and his first wife (also Sarah) had lived in Mount Street, Mayfair, St George Hanover, Westminster. By 1845, William had moved across the Thames and was living in Castle Street, Southwark. Their wedding was held at St Saviours, Southwark on July 13, 1845.

William died in 1854 and by 1861 Sarah was working as house servant for retired Rear-Admiral William Richardson and his family at 7 Rockwell Crescent in Kennington.

Sarah PICKETT left England, and arrived in Victoria on the Sea Chief in February 1870. She travelled with her niece and nephew, Frances Key aged 17 and James Key, aged 20. James is listed as James PICKETT on the shipping list but Pickett was crossed out and Key written next to it. Frances and James were the children of Sarah’s brother James KEY (who had come to Australia in 1830 with his brother George) and his wife Frances (nee DYASON). Sarah’s occupation was listed as nurse.

Sarah must have been in touch with her nephew William KEY (George Rookes KEY’s son) but had lost touch with her father by 1870, as the following advertisement in the Sydney Morning Herald to her brother Thomas Oliver KEY (known as Oliver) bears out:

Oliver Key, your sister Sarah Pickett would like to know her father’s address. Send word to Mr William Key, East Collingwood, Melbourne. [SMH, 12 April 1870, page 1]

The advertisement appears to have worked as subsequently, Sarah moved to NSW and stayed at Clarevaulx Station in the New England region. On October 16, 1872, Sarah married Robert WARD at Stonehenge Station.

Sarah died on June 10, 1894 in the Benevolent Asylum at Hotham West, Victoria. Her occupation was listed as a servant. She was buried on June 11, 1894 at Melbourne General Cemetery.