Oh - just two more things... found a newspaper clipping from the Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser 29 Jul 1876.. where Sophia Beard gave witness on the death of someone ... her statement begins with "I am matron of the Benevolent Asylum, West Maitland".
Thats where she died... so they may have some info as well
In the same paper on 13 Oct 1847, a John Roberts a patient at a convalescent hospital (doesnt say where but assume Newcastle) assisted police in connection with a robbery..
I too am researching John Roberts & Sophie Chapman... couple of things i've discovered...
Could Mary Ann be Charles daughter... am trying to get some records from NSW archives to see if they can give admission dates... and reasons for admission... John must of still been with Sophia in 1848 for her to fall pregnant and give birth in 1849.- or maybe not maybe she conceived in 1849..how did Charles Dicks emerge on the scene? seems stranged that all 3 things happened that year...and 2 of the events within 5 days of each other
On Mary Janes and John Cliftons marriage cert the witness was Charles Dix.. they married 24 Dec 1865
The application to marry was refused in 1844 - that was 7 years from Sophia's arrival which was 1837 - maybe because the Henry Wellesley didnt actual disembark until 3 January 1838..
Have obtained burial cert for John but only gives date of death, where buried and age... nothing else and there is no death cert on NSW BDMs. Will order Mary Janes birth cert now ...