Rebecca SMALL 1789-1883
It is said that Rebecka Small was the first Currency Lass to be married in Australia when she married Francis OAKES at the St.John's Church of England in Parramatta on the 27 January 1806.
Rebecka born on the 22 September 1789, in Pitt Street Sydney in the little cottage right next door to the first Government House in Sydney. The daughter of First Fleeters.
Her father John SMALL was born in Birmingham on the 30 November 1761 the son of John Small 1723-1790 and his wife Rebecca, nee ASHFORD.
He joined the 33rd Company of the Plymouth Division of the Marine Corps at Birmingham on 16 April 1781. He sailed on 'HMS Lively' to New York and then to the West Indies. His ship was taken over by American rebel prisoners, who had been held captive on board. He was taken as a prisoner to Havana where he remained until after the War of Independence May 1783.
When peace was signed in 1783 John and other English prisoners were exchanged for Spanish prisoners and he eventually got back to Port Plymouth in August 1783.
Along with Stephen DAVENPORT, John HERBERT and Robert ELLWOOD, John then became a highwayman, He was caught, tried and sentenced to death on the 14th of Mar 1785 for crimes againest James Burt in the King's Highway. He was extended mercy on 5th of April 1785 conditional to serving 7 years he spent two years on the hulk Dunkirk then was transported on the'Charlotte' and he died in Ryde, a Sydney suburb on the 2 October 1850. He became Captain Phillips personal servant, and was nicknamed 'The Sergeant'
John Small died at the age of 88 on the 2 Oct 1850 at this time he was the last known First Fleet convict to die in NSW.
His wife Mary PARKER, had been born in Chelsea on the 26 August 1758. Mary had been transported on the 'Lady Penrhyn' for theft. Mary met John at Government House where she was assigned as a servant. Mary accidently drowned in a dam on their property at Kissing Point on the 4 April 1824.
During roadworks at Devlin Street Ryde, a grave, said to be Mary's was found. The remains re-interred at the Ryde Cemetery and a plaque added in 1979.
John SMALL and Mary, nee PARKER were married at St.Phillips Church of England, Sydney on the 12 October 1788.
The children of this marriage were:-
*1.Rebecca SMALL 17891883 m. Francis OAKES 1770-1844. The children of this marriage were:-
Elizabeth Oakes 18061889 Ann Oakes 18081880
Mary Oakes 18101880 George Oakes 18131881
Rebecca Oaks 18151904 Sussanah Hassal Oakes 18161907
Francis Rowland Oakes 18181886 Lucy Oakes 18191828
Rowland Hassal Oakes 18211888 Samuel Oakes 18221822
James Lawry Oakes 18241853 John leigh Oakes 18261901
Martha Oakes 18281910 William Oakes 18311881
2.Mary SMALL 17911879 m. Matthew HUGHES Poss.1770-1845 the children of this marriage were:-
Margaret Hughes 18121863 Ann Hughes 18151902
Robert Hughes 1816 1818 Mary Hughes 18181902
James Henry Hughes 18201886 Matthew Henry Hughes 18221905
Thomas Henry Hughes 18241908 Elizabeth Hancox Hughes 18261853
Eliza Rebecca Hughes 18281921 Martha Hughes 18301901
Charlotte Hughes 18321919 William Charles Hughes 18371900
Henry Francis Hughes 18391930
3.John SMALL 17941883 m. Elizabeth PATFIELD 1802-1870 on 31 October 1820 The children of this marriage were:-
John Frederick Small 18211897 Ann Small 18251904
Eliza Small 18281907 Sophie Small 18311831
George Small 18321910 Jane Small 18341835
Mary Small 18361924 James Small 18381914
Harriet Small 18421932 Rebecca Small 18451923
Henry Edward Small 18471918
4.William SMALL 17961891 m. Charlotte MELVILLE 1803-1885 on the 18 June 1820. The children of this marriage were :-
Elizabeth Small 18211916 William Small 18241892
Robert Small 1826 1906 Thomas Small 18291920
Samuel Small 18341910 Henry Small 1837 1900
George Septimus Small 18391912 Susannah Martha Small 1841 1907
Andrew Octavius Small 18431932
5.Thomas SMALL 17991863 m. Priscilla Mason SQUIRE 1792-1862 on 17 December 1821. The children of This marriage were :-
Thomas Small 18221893 Suzannah Small 18241858
Elizabeth Small 18261905 William Small 18281905
Samuel Small 18301915 Timothy Small 18351911
Priscilla Small 18381851
t6.Samuel SMALL 18041889 m. Rachel Rebecca BRADLEY 1811-1891 on the 14 October 1833. The children of this marriage were:-
Rachel Lynn Small 1831 ? Samuel Small 18331912
Elizabeth Small 1836 1919 James Small 18411912
Joseph Small 18411921 John Joseph Small 18431921
Rebecca Small 18471937 Reuben SMALL 18501852
Robert Small 18531915 Charlotte Small 18551939
t7.Sarah SMALL 18041861 m. George PATFIELD on the 31 October 1820 at St.Phillips, Sydney. The children of this marriage were:-
George Patfield 18221839 Susannah Patfield 18241852
John Patfield 1827-1920 Thomas Patfield 18301920
Mary Patfield 18321918 Samuel Joseph Patfield 18341910
Elizabeth Patfield 18381857 Joseph Patfield 18421930
Currency Lads and Currency Lasses was a term used to describe the first generation of Australian-born, mostly the children of convicts or emancipists of British or Irish descent. currency referred to the paper money that Macquarie issued in Sydney from 1810. As this local pound was depreciated against the sterling, the word currency, as recorded by (Peter Cunningham in Two Years in New South Wales (1827)), implied inferiority. By contrast, sterling identified the superior class of free emigrants. The physical and behavioural characteristics of currency lads and lasses impressed contemporary observers. J. T. Bigge in 1820 described them as tall and slender, of fair complexion, stronger and healthier than the English-born, active in their habits, lively and assertive, and optimistic about the future; and observed that these qualities provided a remarkable exception to the moral and physical character of their parents. Their brash assertiveness and penchant for toasting themselves reflected both pride in their currency status and loyalty to their native land, which, they claimed, gave them greater rights to land than free British-born settlers. Russel Ward saw their belief in democracy and egalitarianism, and disdain for authority and new chums, as critical to the development of the Australian character. W. C. Wentworth was the most celebrated currency lad; others were Daniel Deniehy and Hamilton Hume. A paper called The Currency Lad appeared from 183233, and the currency lass was the subject of Edward Geoghegan's musical comedy of 1844. They are the subject of (John Molony's The Native Born (2000)).
The photograph below is Rebecca OAKES nee SMALL taken later in life.