Jarman Family History


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Page 4 - Robert Senior





Genealogical research can never provide a 100% guarantee of the information discovered.  It is normally a case of obtaining circumstantial evidence and then finding as much corroboration as possible.  The information on this website is as certain as reasonably possible. (There is some information on this website from other researchers on their collateral lines – see ‘Acknowledgements’, by returning to the Home Page – which has been taken on good faith and not always checked).

There is one significant area where there is some doubt.   The three sets of facts, set out below, about Robert Jarman, 1775-1858, are included in History Pages 4 and 5 and the Family Trees.  The belief is all three sets of facts apply to him.  However, in theory, Fact Sets 1 and 2 could relate to two different Robert Jarmans in London at the same time, referred to for convenience as ‘Robert Senior’ and ‘Robert of Noble St’ (or ‘Robert & Amelia’). But the facts are so closely aligned that it seems highly unlikely (aside from the two major issues discussed below) that they could relate to two different people. Similarly, Fact Set 3 about Robert’s father, James, seems to confirm that Robert of Noble St. is Robert senior.  

Fact Set 1

(Robert Senior)

Fact Set 2

(Robert of Noble St./Robert & Amelia)


Fact Set 3



1. His father was James Jarman, born in 1743.

14.His father was James Jarman


James Jarman, son of Gregory Jarman a shipwright, was born in Chatham in 1743




James was originally a Chatham shipwright as well but became an Excise man at Gravesend in 1768


2.His mother was called Mary



James married Mary Wilks in 1770


3.He had the following siblings: James (born about 1771), Gregory (born about 1773), William, Mary, and Sarah, who was the wife of Thomas Forrest of Greenhithe in Kent. 


4.Sarah was born in Gravesend, Kent in about 1780.



15. He was born in Gravesend in 1775


James and Mary lived in the Gravesend area to 1780 and had the following children there: James (1771), Gregory (1773), Robert (1775), Mary (1776), Elizabeth (1777), Sarah (1779),


Last son, William (1782) was born in Southwark (see below)


5. His father lived in Horsleydown, Southwark 1782 and 1785, and St Mary Magdalen, Bermondsey (in Southwark), 1788.


6.Since 1808, his father lived in Fort Place, St Mary Magdalen, Bermondsey where stayed until he died in 1823.




16. His father lived in Rotherhithe (close to Southwark) in 1790


James was appointed to a post in the Port of London in 1780


James was living in Horseleydown, Southwark in 1782 when his son William was born.


7. His brothers Gregory and James were apprenticed to members of the Tin-Plate Worker’s Guild

17. He was apprenticed to a member of the Weaver’s guild in 1790, who was in fact a carpenter in Spitalfields



8. He was a carpenter

18. He was a carpenter and member of the Weavers’ Guild



9. He married Elizabeth Daniels in 1799.  They had a son (also called Robert) born in 1801.


10.His wife died and was buried in Spitalfields in 1804



19. He was married and his first wife died before 1804.


20. In 1804 he married his 2nd wife, Amelia Dede (in a church whose jurisdiction covered part of Spitalfields).


21. They had 5 children (1807-1815): Elizabeth, Richard, Amelia, Henry, and George



11. 1801, he is living in Spital Square, Spitalfields


22. 1790s, he is living in Brown’s Lane, Spitalfields (a few yards from Spital Square)




23. 1806/7, he is living in Whitechapel




24. 1810-1817 he is living in 3 Noble St., City of London



12. 1819-1829, he is living in St Martin’s-le-Grand, City of London (this is a few yards from Noble St.)





25. 1829-1834 he is living in Bow Lane, City of London (ten minutes’ walk from Noble St. and St.Martins-Le-Grand)


26. 1834-1846 he is living in 10 Noble St., City of London



13. He lived in Tottenham in Dec. 1846





27. From Jan. 1847 he lives in Weaver’s almshouses until his death in 1858.




Most of the latter addresses are confirmed in annual trades’ directories. There is never two entries for ‘Robert Jarman, Carpenter’ in a London directory at any one time (except 1834, when both Noble St. and Bow Lane appear).  It seems highly unlikely that they could be different people.  However, there is only one direct connection between the two: in one of the Weavers’ Guild’s records, Robert of Noble St.’s address is lightly scored out and ‘St Martin’s le grand’ (Robert Senior’s address in the 1820s) faintly written in, in pencil.

The above facts are supported by solid sources – see Sources Appendix below.



Notwithstanding the above, there are two problems which suggest they could be different people:

1.      Signatures


The signatures of Robert senior and Robert of Noble St. appear different. Either they are different people or for some reason he changed his signature.


 Robert senior’s signature, 1799


Robert of Noble St.’s signature, 1804


Robert of Noble St.’s signature, 1790 (aged 14)

2.     DNA


A living descendant of George Jarman (Robert & Amelia’s youngest son) and a living descendant of Robert Jarman junior (Robert Senior and Elizabeth’s son) have both participated in the German/Jarman DNA Project (see http://german.jarman.net/dna.htm).  This project aims to aid US (or Australian) Jarmans finding related Jarmans in England in order to help trace their ancestors prior to emigration.   The DNA test used is for the Y-chromosome, which is passed down from father to son and can be matched in successive generations. However, the Y-DNA of the two descendants did not match (the results can be seen at http://german.jarman.net/results.htm; the descendant of George is sample 28597, and the descendant of Robert junior is sample 24318).  The two most likely reasons for this are that Robert of Noble St. is a different person to Robert senior or there has been a “non-paternity event”, as it is euphemistically called, in one of the respective lines.



If it is the case that they are two different people then the descendants of Robert and Amelia (that is, the descendants of Richard, George, Amelia and Henry) should be removed from this story (that is the individuals in Family Trees 5, 6, 7, 8, 8a, 8b and 8c).  The rest of the family tree remains correct - there is a much closer connection between Fact Set 3 (that is the Jarmans of Chatham) and Robert senior than there is between Fact Set 3 and Robert and Amelia. Robert of Noble st., the husband of Amelia, if he is a different person could not be the son of James of Chatham/Gravesend/Southwark.

Despite the two issues referred to above, because of the evidence of the consistent Fact Sets set out above, the working assumption is that Robert senior and Robert of Noble St. are indeed the same people. Clearly further investigation is needed however. One further possibility (perhaps a remote one) is that between 1801 and 1804, someone assumed Robert Jarman's identity (possibly after his death) and posed as him for the rest of his life with the collusion of the family. (There have been cases such as this in history: the well-known medieval French case of Martin Guerre, for example.)



For Fact Set 1, the most important sources are:

1.   The Settlement Examination records relating to Robert senior’s son, Robert junior, from 1846 (ms 11537/3, Guildhall Library). These clearly relate to Robert junior because they correctly give the names and ages of all of his six children and the name of his wife (established independently through other sources). The record contains an affidavit from his father providing Facts 9, 12 and 13 above, including importantly that he resided at St Martin’s-Le-Grand from 1819 to 1829

2.   The Trades Directories during the years 1819-1823 confirmed that Robert Jarman, a carpenter, resided at St Martin’s-Le-Grand. This corroborates Facts 8 and 12 above.

3.   James Jarman’s will (PROB 10/4666, National Archives) executed in 1822 referred to his son Robert, a carpenter at St Martin’s-Le-Grand. This is clearly Robert Senior’s father. James gives the name occupation and address of his other children (Fact 3 – but not the years of birth, for which see paragraph 5 below). It gives his address:   Fact 6 (the Sun Insurance Records – ms 119364/444/821750 at the Guildhall Library – confirms the date he first occupied the address).

4.   Fact 4, that James’s daughter Sarah was born in Gravesend in about 1780 is crucial in linking Fact Set 1 (Robert senior) to Fact Set 3 (the James who was in the Excise in Gravesend in the 1770s) and and also to Fact Set 2 (Robert of Noble St. was born in  Gravesend in 1775). James’s will said that his daughter Sarah was the wife of Thomas Forrest of Greenhithe. The 1851 census for Greenhithe (HO107/1607 folio 577) includes a couple called Thomas and Sarah Forrest, aged 80 and 70 respectively. Thomas is stated to have been born in the parish. This, therefore, is almost certainly James’s daughter and her husband. She is stated as being born in Gravesend. The ages appear to be rounded so her age is consistent with being born in 1779.

5.   James’s will says that his sons, Gregory and James, were Tin-Plate Workers and gives their addresses. The Tin-Plate Workers Guild records confirms that they were members (that is, with these names and addresses). Their Guild apprenticeship confirms that their father was called James and that he lived at the addresses in Fact 5. Apprenticeships began at the age of 14. The dates of their Apprenticeship Indenture Deeds therefore gives their year of birth (that is, 14 years earlier) – Fact 3.

6.   The 1851 census for Goswell Road, London (HO107/15/5 folio 549) includes Robert junior, Robert senior’s son. This is clearly him because it includes the names and ages of his six children and wife – established independently through other sources. This states that his place of birth was Spital Square (Fact 11).

7.   Fact 10 is derived from the Parish Registers of Christchurch, Spitalfields

8.   Fact 2 (his mother was called Mary) is derived from the burial register of St Mary Magdalen which refers to a Mary Jarman of James’s being buried in 1820 aged 76.

For Fact Set 2, the most important sources are:

1.   The records of the Weavers’ Guild track his addresses and occupation (Facts 18, 22-27) – see various Quarterage Records and Minute Books (1790s-1858) at the Guildhall Library. Specific references are cited in History Page 4. His Apprenticeship Indenture Deed provides information on his father, James: Facts 14, 16, 17. 

2.   Parish records (Whitechapel and St John Zachary) tied in with addresses in paragraph 1 above gives the names and birth dates of his children (Fact 21) and the Christian name of his wife. The marriage details (Facts 19 and 20) are originally derived from finding the only marriage of a Robert Jarman and ‘Amelia’ in the relevant years. This has been confirmed by family tradition of descendants of one of his children (Henry).

3.  His 1851 census return (the address is found through the Weavers’ Guild records above) states that he was born in Gravesend in about 1775 (Fact 15).

    Fact Set 3 is derived from the Excise Board minutes (see references in History Page 3) tied in with the parish registers of Gravesend and Milton-next-Gravesend. 



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Page 4 - Robert Senior