Here is another of the postcards sent by William Joseph Henry BATEMAN and his family from Australia back to his parents in England. This one was written to William’s mother Dorothy Isabella BATEMAN on the 26th September 1907 by his wife Annie.
Once again I know nothing about the publisher or the artist, but like the other ones I have written about, I do like the image. I also love the way that so much information was crammed onto the back of the card, not even space for a stamp on this one.
These messages give a wonderful insight into their life in Australia, and an insight into Annie’s personality, she has a wonderful style of writing and a subtle sense of humour (and a dislike of punctuation).
The main message reads “Just a line to let you know we are all in the best of health and that we have moved again you will think it must be cheaper to shift than pay rent but we have a much better house and 1/6 a week cheaper and there was only a fence between us and the land-lady and she was a fair old tander but only one street away from where we were our address now is :- Esplanade Place Port Melb’e no number but but [sic] there are only five houses in the street. hope all are well Will has gone back to work”
The two shorter messages are just as interesting, “I am going over to Geelong tomorrow for three days I have to go down to draw the interest on Siddies’ money. I am taking the two children with me”. This is referring to Annie’s son from her first marriage, Sidney Ambrose BULL, presumably there was some sort of legacy left by his late father that interest was being paid on.
The second even shorter message, “baby is not walking yet I think he feels safer on the the floor.” is referring to William Thomas Henry BATEMAN, Annie and William’s first child who would have been a few days away from his first birthday when this card was sent.
There is one word that puzzles me, tander, I presume this is an Australian slang word, but have been unable to find a definition for it. From the context of the message I have taken it to mean someone who is an interfering busy-body, but perhaps someone more knowledgeable would like to provide me with a more accurate definition.
This fine looking church is St. Peter’s Church, Brighton, Sussex. This is the church where my 2x great grandparents Henry BATEMAN and Dorothy Isabella KINGHORN married on the 9th November 1881, and probably had their son baptised here the following year.
There are virtually no clues as to the publisher or age of this card, there is only the number 1973 on the front which is definitely not the year of publication, because the back of the card (shown below) is undivided which suggests a date prior to 1902.
St. Peter’s Church is a relatively modern church and still forms a prominent landmark in Brighton. It is great to have a personal connection to this wonderful building, which I have passed so many times on my way into and out of Brighton.
I am feeling much better about my genealogy this week, I did actually sit down and get on with some family history last week. The previous week had been severely lacking in family history, but last week I actually got down to completing some of the task I had set myself.
The BATEMAN certificates have been processed and I now have some more work to do next time I am in Brighton and the East Sussex Record Office. I hadn’t intended to start any detailed work on the English side of the BATEMAN family, but they seem to have taken over from the Australian side at the moment.
I wrote about ordering copies of four wills, this represents a short-term investment of time and money, because it is going to take a few weeks for them to arrive, and once they do it is going to give me some work to do that I can complete relatively easily from home, but will probably open up many more avenues of research.
I am not sure what I will be working on this week, at the moment there doesn’t appear any clear plan in place, I just work on what appeals to me at the time. I have the opportunity in three weeks time to visit an archive, so I need to start work on deciding which one to visit and what research to do (yes, it will take me three weeks to decide).
I seem to have been a bit distracted this week on a couple of other projects, not family history as such, but certainly history related, no doubt I will get around to writing about them eventually. I seem to be building up a long list of things to write about, but I don’t know when I will find the time to actually write them.
The main reason for ordering the birth of certificate of William Joseph Henry BATEMAN was to try and establish where his parents were living, and from that where he should have been baptised, but along with the marriage certificate I wrote about a few days ago it has also clarified a few issues about the timing of his mother’s pregnancy.
I already had William’s birth date from his Royal Navy service record and fortunately the two dates matched, he was born on the 19th January 1882. I was more interested in the place of birth, from other sources I knew he was born in Brighton, Sussex but I wanted to try and get a bit more precise.
William was born at 47 Jersey Street, Brighton, the same address as that given for his mother on the marriage certificate of his parents the previous year. This should mean that William was baptised in the same church as his parents were married in, St. Peter’s Church. Of course I want to find his baptism record, but more importantly I am hoping that his two ‘lost’ siblings were also baptised in the same church.
The dates of this certificate and the marriage certificate have clarified one issue for me, William was born on the 19th January 1882, just over two months since his parents had married on the 19th November 1881, so Dorothy was certainly pregnant when she and Henry married. Going back a stage further, Dorothy may well have already been pregnant when she was listed in the 1881 census (taken on the 3rd April) as a cook at Spratton Hall, Spratton, Northamptonshire.
I now know that both both Henry and Dorothy left Spratton between the 3rd April 1881 and 19th November 1881, and I doubt I will be able to get a more precise date range than that, and I very much doubt whether I will ever know for certain whether Dorothy was forced to leave because she became pregnant.
Here is another postcard sent back home from Australia by William Joseph Henry BATEMAN. I know nothing about the artist or publisher of this card (although I do like the picture), and the message on the back is more important than the picture on the front.
As you can see from the date this one was written at the same time as the one I showed you a couple of weeks ago. Presumably sent in the same envelope to save postage. This one was sent to William’s sister May (or Dorothy May) BATEMAN.
Dorothy May BATEMAN was my great-grandmother and would have been about 18 years old at the time. It is interesting to note that she is not at the same address as her parents, presumably she was in domestic service in Brighton, Sussex at the time. It would be interesting to find out who else was also living at 45 Preston Grove in 1907.
The mention of “one of little Willie photo’s” is referring to William Joseph Henry’s first son William Thomas Henry BATEMAN who would have been almost eight months old when this card was written. I wonder what the reason was for Annie (his wife) being “not up to much”?