The Bean Family History

The Bean (Beane) family can be traced back to at least the late 1600s on Hayling Island in Hampshire, England. The island is situated in the South of England, close by Portsmouth, one of England's major naval stations.

Thomas Beane is the earliest identified member of this particular family tree. Nothing more is known of Thomas, other than he had a son Thomas Bean born on 18th August 1711 at Portsea Saint Mary. This son Thomas married Elizabeth Pitt at South Hayling on 12th May 1734 and during the following 23 years they had 13 children, all with their births or baptisms recorded on Hayling. James Thomas John Bean was the eleventh child in this large family and was born/baptised on Sunday 15th April 1753. As his mother Elizabeth died on Sunday 31st August 1760 and his father Thomas probably died in the first half of 1762, James Thomas John was an orphan at nine years of age. Thomas, who had been a blacksmith, signed his Will on 8th October 1761 and was buried on 11 October 1761. On 21st June 1762 his Executor was sworn before Thomas Balguy. His will left everything to his eldest son Thomas and states that the eldest child Elizabeth had already received her share of his Estate before his death. One month after the swearing of the Will, and presumably receiving his inheritance, the son Thomas married Mary Jacobs on Hayling.

Several of James Thomas John Bean's older brothers and sisters were married by the time of their parents’ deaths or shortly thereafter. There is no record of where the younger children went following their father’s death although William and Joseph were on Hayling in the 1780’s when they married.

The first members of this Bean family to arrive in Australia were James Thomas John Bean and his wife and children. J T J Bean was the grandson of Thomas Beane, who starts this descendant's list. Although no link has been found, it is interesting to note that a Thomas Bean was a member of Captain Cook’s crew on his third journey (12-7-1776 to 4-10-1780) to the Pacific Ocean and that he brought back to England a spear that was thrown into the boat when Captain Cook was killed by natives in the Hawaiian Islands. The spear now bears the note, "thrown into the boat when Captain Cook was murdered, brought to England by Thomas Bean, whose wife was nurse to Thomas Green, and gave it to her Master".

The first records of James Thomas John Bean after his parents’ deaths are his marriage to Elizabeth Taylor at St. James Church of England, London on Sunday 6th February 1780 and then the births of each of their six children, also in London. It therefore appears that James Thomas John was living in London and working as a carpenter from at least 1780 to Wednesday, 10th January 1798 when he signed the "Terms of Settlement" and probably until the family’s subsequent departure for New South Wales in late 1798 aboard HMS Buffalo.

James Thomas John Bean and Family Emigrate to Australia

In the early years of the settlement of Sydney there was a shortage of tradesmen. In 1797/98 action was taken to encourage a number of carpenters and their families to emigrate to New South Wales to assist in the erection of the many buildings needed. Three other carpenters signed the Terms of Settlement endorsed by JTJ Bean in London on 10 January 1798. In the document they acknowledged that "at their own request they offered themselves as settlers to go to New South Wales with their families". In return they were offered:

.... free passage for themselves and family and the Government would supply the food for the trip

.... on arrival in the colony each family would receive 100 acres at Port Jackson or 50 acres at Norfolk Island

.... the families would be victualled and clothed from the public stores until 12 months after receiving their land

.... each family would receive the labour of 2 convicts (maintained by the Government) for 12 months after receiving their land

.... to have the same proportion of stock, seed, grain and agricultural tools as provided to other settlers

.... any other assistance that the Governor judged proper

Having signed the Terms of Settlement, arrangements were then put in hand "as directed by the Duke of Portland" to have the Lords Commanders of His Majesty's Treasury to have the Commissioners of the Navy organise accommodation for the four families on HMS Buffalo which was being readied, together with HMS Porpoise to sail to New South Wales later that year to replace HMS Supply. Towards the end of 1798 the Buffalo set sail under the command of William Raven. They called at the Cape of Good Hope on the way to take on 66 head of cattle for the new colony. They arrived in Port Jackson on 3 May 1799 and landed the cattle, tools and hardware. However there were no supplies of bedding or clothing which were badly needed at the time. It is interesting to note that although the ship was called the Buffalo, its figurehead was the carved figure of a kangaroo.

The Bean Family in Australia

At the time of the Bean family’s arrival in New South Wales in 1799 there were less than 5,000 people in the colony, of which some 700 were convicts. By the time of Governor Hunter’s departure late in 1800 the following was the state of the livestock and ground in cultivation:
60 horses
143 mares
332 bulls and oxen
712 cows
4,017 hogs
2,031 male sheep
4,093 female sheep
727 male goats
1,455 female goats
4,665 3/4 acres of wheat
2,930 acres of maize
82 acres of barley

1799 was not a good year for the colony. About two months before the arrival of the Beans there had been bush fires. A month after their arrival, on the evening of 4th of June, which had been observed as the King’s birthday, storms enveloped the Sydney area for three days. Gale force winds blew from the south and were accompanied by heavy falls of rain. A number of government buildings were severely damaged, including the tower of the new mill at Sydney. In the middle of June a second and more violent gale, once again blowing from the south, caused even more damage to buildings in Sydney and Parramatta. The south side of the church tower in Sydney was totally destroyed, although the clock was saved, and the new Government House nearing completion at Parramatta suffered material damage. A man attempting to cross a gully between Sydney and Parramatta was carried away and drowned. The ravages of the two storms was so great that building in the colony was set back nearly twelve months. In addition to these natural disasters the colony was faced with hostile aborigines and a lack of "morality, honesty and industry" in the majority of colonists. On July 26th 1799 the Hillsborough arrived in Sydney with typhus aboard. Ninety five of the 300 male convicts had died during the journey to Sydney and a further six died after they landed. Fortunately, typhus did not spread throughout the already struggling colony. This must have been a depressing introduction to their new home for James and his family.

It is not known where the family lived between their arrival in May, and November when James was granted the promised 100 acres of land in the district of Toongabbie. The grant at Castle Hill is now known as Gilroy College, Excelsior Avenue (western side). Two adjacent blocks of 100 acres each were granted to Thomas Bradley and John Anson who had also arrived on the Buffalo. Samuel James who later married Ann Bean was granted an 80 acre adjoining block in January 1818.

In 1803 the Bean and Bradley families had their farm houses invaded by escaped convicts. They discharged a pistol in the face of Mrs Bradley’s servant man, causing ghastly disfigurement, and raped some of the women. The following is an extract from the Sydney Gazette, of Saturday 5th March 1803, detailing the story:

"Fugitives On Tuesday, the 15th ultimo, Fifteen Labouring Men fled from the Agricultural Settlement at Castle Hill, after having committed many acts of violence and atrocity. They at first forcibly entered the dwelling-house of M. Declamb, which they ransacked, and stripped of many articles of plate, wearing apparel, some fire and side-arms, provisions, spirituous and vinous liquors, a quantity of which they drank or wasted in the house. They next proceeded to the farm houses of Bradley and Bean, at Baulkham Hills. Mrs. Bradley’s servant man they wantonly and inhumanly discharged a pistol at, the contents of which have so shattered his face as to render him a ghastly spectacle, in all probability, during the remainder of his life. In Mrs. Bean’s house they gave aloose to sensuality, equally brutal and unmanly. Resistance was to no avail, for their rapacity was unbridled. Numerous other delinquencies were perpetrated by this licentious banditti, whose ravages, however, could not long escape the certain tread of Justice. Two of the depredators were taken into custody upon the second day after their flight near the Hawkesbury road, by Mr. Jamieson, junior, assisted by A. Thomson, Chief Constable at Hawkesbury, and a party of the Military, who had been despatched in pursuit of them. Upon these men were found several articles of property that had been taken from the dwelling-house of Mr. Declamb; as were also two muskets. On the day following they underwent an Examination before a Magistrate, by whom they were fully committed, and sent to Sydney under an escort. On the 23rd ultimo, eleven more of the desperadoes were secured, by a party of the Military and Constables, between Hawkesbury and the Mountains. Information had been given of their haunts by a body of natives, shortly after they had broke into the house of a settler, where they had stopped to grind a quantity of wheat at a steel mill, having previously secured the family, and afterwards stripped the house of all such provisions as they could conveniently carry off, together with two stands of arms. They were also taken before a Magistrate, fully committed, and brought to Sydney under a sufficient guard. Justice to the prisoners at large in the Colony requires that we should here observe that this banditti is entirely composed of Irish prisoners, brought by the Hercules and Atlas."

Another article in the same Gazette indicates that the Colony was suffering a drought during the beginning of 1803 which had badly affected crops and vegetable gardens.

In July 1811 James Thomas John Bean commenced as a supervisor in the building of the "Rum" Hospital. He was hired at the rate of £250 per year by the contractors Messrs Riley, Blaxcell & Wentworth. to supervise the building as a carpenter. The Sydney Gazette of 12th December shows JTJ Bean seeking carpenters and sawyers for the General Hospital. The Gazette of 19th March 1814 has James seeking shingles for the hospital.

He appeared before Commissioner Bigge on 20 September 1820 to testify concerning methods of payment and construction during the building. James was listed as a private in the Loyal Parramatta Association.

He was granted land of 1 rood 4 perches, bounded by York, Market and Clarence streets in Sydney, on 26th November 1834.

James Thomas John Bean, Senior died at the age of 87 years on 19th April 1839 and was buried on 22nd April 1839, the Reverend J. Troughton conducted the ceremony.

Hotels Owned by the Bean Family - J T J Bean Senior had The Square and Compass in George Street in 1830 and the Union Inn at Appin. J T J Bean junior had the Frankfield Inn at Gunning.