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 Phillip?s 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 1789?1883 m. Francis OAKES 1770-1844. The children of this marriage were:-
Elizabeth Oakes 1806?1889 Ann Oakes 1808?1880
Mary Oakes 1810?1880 George Oakes 1813?1881
Rebecca Oaks 1815?1904 Sussanah Hassal Oakes 1816?1907
Francis Rowland Oakes 1818?1886 Lucy Oakes 1819?1828
Rowland Hassal Oakes 1821?1888 Samuel Oakes 1822?1822
James Lawry Oakes 1824?1853 John leigh Oakes 1826?1901
Martha Oakes 1828?1910 William Oakes 1831?1881
2.Mary SMALL 1791?1879 m. Matthew HUGHES Poss.1770-1845 the children of this marriage were:-
Margaret Hughes 1812?1863 Ann Hughes 1815?1902
Robert Hughes 1816? 1818 Mary Hughes 1818?1902
James Henry Hughes 1820?1886 Matthew Henry Hughes 1822?1905
Thomas Henry Hughes 1824?1908 Elizabeth Hancox Hughes 1826?1853
Eliza Rebecca Hughes 1828?1921 Martha Hughes 1830?1901
Charlotte Hughes 1832?1919 William Charles Hughes 1837?1900
Henry Francis Hughes 1839?1930
3.John SMALL 1794?1883 m. Elizabeth PATFIELD 1802-1870 on 31 October 1820 The children of this marriage were:-
John Frederick Small 1821?1897 Ann Small 1825?1904
Eliza Small 1828?1907 Sophie Small 1831?1831
George Small 1832?1910 Jane Small 1834?1835
Mary Small 1836?1924 James Small 1838?1914
Harriet Small 1842?1932 Rebecca Small 1845?1923
Henry Edward Small 1847?1918
4.William SMALL 1796?1891 m. Charlotte MELVILLE 1803-1885 on the 18 June 1820. The children of this marriage were :-
Elizabeth Small 1821?1916 William Small 1824?1892
Robert Small 1826? 1906 Thomas Small 1829?1920
Samuel Small 1834?1910 Henry Small 1837? 1900
George Septimus Small 1839?1912 Susannah Martha Small 1841? 1907
Andrew Octavius Small 1843?1932
5.Thomas SMALL 1799?1863 m. Priscilla Mason SQUIRE 1792-1862 on 17 December 1821. The children of This marriage were :-
Thomas Small 1822?1893 Suzannah Small 1824?1858
Elizabeth Small 1826?1905 William Small 1828?1905
Samuel Small 1830?1915 Timothy Small 1835?1911
Priscilla Small 1838?1851
t6.Samuel SMALL 1804?1889 m. Rachel Rebecca BRADLEY 1811-1891 on the 14 October 1833. The children of this marriage were:-
Rachel Lynn Small 1831? ? Samuel Small 1833?1912
Elizabeth Small 1836 ? 1919 James Small 1841?1912
Joseph Small 1841?1921 John Joseph Small 1843?1921
Rebecca Small 1847?1937 Reuben SMALL 1850?1852
Robert Small 1853?1915 Charlotte Small 1855?1939
t7.Sarah SMALL 1804?1861 m. George PATFIELD on the 31 October 1820 at St.Phillips, Sydney. The children of this marriage were:-
George Patfield 1822?1839 Susannah Patfield 1824?1852
John Patfield 1827-1920 Thomas Patfield 1830?1920
Mary Patfield 1832?1918 Samuel Joseph Patfield 1834?1910
Elizabeth Patfield 1838?1857 Joseph Patfield 1842?1930
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 1832?33, 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.