There are two distinct branches of Oakmans in Australia – those who came from Ireland and those who came from England. The Oakman families from England were closely related (brothers and cousins) who arrived in Australia in 1853 and 1857. The first Oakman from Northern Ireland to venture to Australia was a soldier with the British Army in 1817. The first to settle there were my John Oakman and his family in 1841.

John Oakman – arrived 1817

The earliest known Oakman to arrive in Australia was Private John Oakman, a redcoat soldier with the 48th (Northhamptonshire) Regiment of Foot. John had initially enlisted with the 45th Regiment in 1816 and finished his military career in 1838 with the Royal Sappers and Miners. Enlistment papers for John give…

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Sarah Oakman – arrived before 1821

On 14 February 1821, Sarah Oakman died in Sydney at the age of 22. The only evidence for this is her burial registration at St Phillips Church of England in Sydney. Sarah may have been the wife of John Oakman, the soldier.

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John Oakman – arrived 1841

My ancestor, John Oakman from Northern Ireland, who arrived in Sydney aboard the United Kingdom in 1841. John was born in Glenavy Parish, the son of John Oakman and Mary McGee (or McKee). John’s wife, Mary McQuillan and children Margaret Louise, Eneas and John were born in nearby Killead Parish.…

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Thomas Oakman – arrived 1864

In 1864, Thomas Oakman, son of William Oakman and Anne Fletcher of Ardress, County Armagh, arrived at Hervey Bay in Queensland aboard the Prince Escort. Thomas, who stated in his shipping records that he had been born in Ardress, Co Armagh, was 23 years of age when he arrived. If…

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Matilda Gardiner (nee Oakman) – arrived 1873

Matilda Oakman was the daughter of William Oakman and Anna Fletcher. She was born about 1847 in Ardress, Co Armagh. Matilda married George Gardiner on 10 Jan 1872 in Armagh, Northern Ireland. Their first child, Sarah Jane Gardiner, was born at Annaboe, Co Armagh on 18 Sept 1872. Matilda, George…

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