Tag Archives: australia

Australia Day 2011: The marriage certificate of William Joseph Henry BATEMAN and a mystery solved

26 Jan

To celebrate Australia Day Shelley from the Twigs of Yore blog has issued a challenge to write about an Australian ancestor or relative, you can read the full details here.

As I have no Australian ancestors and to my knowledge only one of my direct ancestors ever set foot on Australian soil (and that was only for about week in the 1920s), it meant that my earliest relation with an Australian connection was William Joseph Henry BATEMAN (my 2x great-uncle). I have already written much about his life and my research, but I haven’t really discussed the earliest record I have for him in Australia, which would be his marriage certificate from the 22nd April 1905.

It took me a while to find this record, I knew that William had ended up in Australia (having been born in Brighton, Sussex, England in 1882) and had a family there, but had not been able to find a record of him actually travelling to Australia and didn’t even know when he had arrived in Australia, except if was after 1891 because he was still at home in the census that year. The marriage certificate not only gave me details of his wife and the marriage itself, but also solved the mystery of his arrival in Australia.

I downloaded the certificate from The Victorian Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages website, having used the Electoral Rolls on Ancestry.com.au to narrow down the state and discover his wife’s christian name. I must admit I found the process of searching for the marriage to be somewhat awkward and clunky, and the end result was rather disappointing as the quality of the downloaded image left a lot to be desired, but at least I had a copy.

Eventually I was able to work out all the details (and there was more detail than on an English marriage certificate), confirm that this was the right man and solve the mystery of his arrival in Australia. His occupation was seaman and his residence was H.M.S. Katoomba, a Royal Navy vessel. His naval record confirmed that William had served in the navy and when his service came to an end he was in Australia. No wonder I couldn’t find him on any passenger lists.

But back to the marriage itself. It took place in Geelong, Victoria at the Parsonage, in Yarra Street. The ceremony was conducted by William Williams a Methodist Minister according to the rites of the Methodist Church. At the time of their marriage William was a 23 year old bachelor and his wife Annie Clark BALL was a 24 year old widow with one child from her previous marriage, living in Moorabool Street, Geelong.

Although the certificate was not much to look at it did this solve one mystery and provided plenty of avenues for future research (most of which I haven’t pursued yet) in their married life, Annie’s previous marriage and William’s naval service. Perhaps one day I get to visit Australia and will find myself wandering around the streets of Geelong.

From an old address book to a Victoria Cross hero

17 Jan

I never cease to be amazed at how one tiny snippet of information can trigger such an interesting chain of research and uncover an interesting story in the process. Unfortunately much of that information is not going to be directly relevant to my family tree, but the journey more than makes up for that.

The story begins with an address book which belonged to my grandmother. Amongst the names and addresses it has three addresses for Isabel KIPPS (my first cousin three times removed), one in Sussex, another in Nottingham and a third in Australia.

I thought it would be interesting to find out when she went to Australia and when she came back, because I already knew that she died back in England. It was fairly easy to find details of her trip, outward on findmypast.co.uk and home again on Ancestry.co.uk.

Essentially she was taking two young girls, to whom she was a nurse, away from England at the start of the Second World War to the relative safety of Australia. They left Southampton on the 13th July 1940 bound for Melbourne, Australia. They returned in 1945, leaving Melbourne on the 27th February, bound for Liverpool.

There were also details in the passenger lists of two previous trips, made by Isabel and the two girls, one to Malta in 1934/35 and Gibraltar in 1937. For a member of my family tree to be so well-travelled is extremely unusual, very few of my relatives ever seemed to have left the safety of dry land.

Of course by this time I was curious as to who was the father of these two globe-trotting girls. Fortunately their mother was with them on one of the voyages, so it wasn’t difficult to find out that they were the daughters of Robert St Vincent Sherbrooke.

Google was bursting with search results for Robert Sherbrooke, primarily because he had been the recipient of the Victoria Cross whilst serving in the Royal Navy during the Second World War and ended up as Rear Admiral. I won’t go into details here because it is pretty easy to find out plenty of information on the internet (he even has his own page on Wikipedia).

It is such a shame that such an incredible (and well documented) man is not much more than a footnote to my family history, but it is nice to know that my first cousin three times removed was part of his life and trusted with the care of his children.

Postcards from Australia: Christmas Edition (Part Three)

22 Dec

This is the third and final of the three special Christmas editions of the Postcards from Australia series of posts I ran earlier in the year (you can find the two previous Christmas editions here and here).

This postcard was sent by William Joseph Henry BATEMAN and his family in Australia to his sister (Dorothy) May back home in England, wishing her “Hearty Greetings”. I just hope that the image on the front is not the BATEMAN’s home!

I am not sure what was in the cut-out on this one, the verse suggests it was wattle (acacia) blossom, but sadly this has long since disappeared.

Postcards from Australia: Christmas Edition (Part Two)

21 Dec

This is the second of three special Christmas editions of the Postcards from Australia series of posts I ran earlier in the year.

This postcard was sent by William Joseph Henry BATEMAN and his family in Australia to his dad back home in England to wish him Season’s Greetings for Christmas 1912.

Although the picture is not really what we would call a Christmas scene, I do like the little verse:

As a token sweet
Accept this golden wheat,
Produced on Austral soil
After many months of toil.

The grains of wheat have vanished, they probably fell out years ago, but I do wonder if someone might have tried to grow them at some time!

Postcards from Australia: Christmas Edition (Part One)

14 Dec

Back by popular demand (well not really, back because I saved these cards specially) are three special Christmas editions of the Postcards from Australia series of posts I ran earlier in the year.

Like the previous postcards this was sent by William Joseph Henry BATEMAN and his wife and family back to his family in England. As you can see below this one was sent to his mother “with love and best wishes” for Christmas 1912, presumably in an envelope as there is no stamp or postmark.

The artwork on the card (The Call To Breakfast) is obviously by the same artist as the previous postcards I featured, but I wouldn’t really consider it a Christmas scene. I am not sure what is in the cut-out at the top, the plastic film covering it is disintegrating, revealing the “chips from the nuggets of gold”.

An Australian Souvenir Handkerchief

6 Oct

This interesting item was another souvenir sent from Australia by the BATEMANs to family back ‘home’ in England. Unfortunately there is nothing to indicate when it was sent or to which member of the family it was sent.

An Australian Souvenir Handkerchief

It consists of an embroidered handkerchief (at least I think that it is embroidered) pinned inside a piece of folded card, so that the embroidery is visible through the circular whole cut out of the front of the card. Unfortunately some of the colour has run, so both the card and handkerchief have a slight red tinge to them. The embroidery is apparently of the bloom of the waratah.

Handkerchief

Souvenir of Bendigo

30 Sep

As a follow-on from my Postcards from Australia series of posts, this is another treasure that was sent from Australia by the BATEMANs back to England.

The envelope above probably (I can’t be 100% certain) contained the three photographs below, which are views from the town of Bendigo, Victoria, Australia.

From left to right they are:

  • Soldiers’ Memorial Hall, Bendigo.
  • St. Paul’s Cathedral, Bendigo.
  • The Boathouse, Lake Weerona, Bendigo.

I know this because someone has helpfully written the locations on the back. The handwriting looks the same as that on the envelope so I guess it was either Annie or William BATEMAN.

These were sent quite a bit later than the postcards I have previously featured, the postmark on the envelope looks like 25 FEB 29, and I believe the monarch on the stamp is George V, so this would fit in with a date of 1929.

The other difference is the recipient, these were sent to my grandmother Dorothy Annie TROWER who would have been 16 years old at the time. Dorothy Annie was the daughter of Henry John and Dorothy May TROWER, making her William Joseph Henry BATEMAN’s neice.

Three seems an odd number of photos to include, so I wonder if there were originally more. If anyone knows then please get in touch.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 119 other followers

%d bloggers like this: