Tag Archives: brighton

TWG Unplugged: A Tale of Two Cities

30 Oct

The two cities in question were Brighton and Chichester, both of which I visited today name of family history. I began the day with a leisurely start and took the bus down to Brighton and then took the train along the south coast to Chichester.

First stop was the Brighton History Centre so that I could spend a couple of hours looking through local newspapers. Brighton History Centre has a great selection of local newspapers on microfilm (and a few originals) and among them is my personal favourite the Sussex Daily News. It was published between 1870 and 1956 and I could quite happily have spent all day scrolling through the pages.

I had several dates in mind, events that I wanted to check and see if they were reported, and I am pleased to say that the Sussex Daily News didn’t let me down. There was another mention of the BOXALL’s diamond wedding anniversary, with a few more bits of information that weren’t included in the one that I found last weekend. Then there were another couple of articles that relate to other family lines (GASSON and DUNFORD), one of which was particularly saddening.

Another report that I was looking for described an event that was captured on one of my latest postcard purchases, this was a bit of background research for a future blog post but quite an interesting story. A surprise find was an article about the bells at Bolney Church which I think have a connection with one of my ancestors as well. All in all a very rewarding visit.

The reason for my visit to Chichester was to visit the West Sussex Record Office. This time though it wasn’t for research, it was so I could buy some more of their bargain Ordnance Survey maps. It felt a bit odd not actually going into the search room but just spending an hour or so browsing through the piles of maps. I added another 10 maps to my collection, this time though they weren’t really ancestral places but other places of interest, many of them on the South Downs.

Another successful day, quite relaxing in many ways as I wasn’t trying to cram in too much, just taking it easy and enjoying myself in the sunshine. Next week, weather permitting, I will get back to some walking.

Postcards, pillows and too many people

16 Oct

I had hoped to go down to Chichester today, to do some research at the West Sussex Record Office and the public library, but it became obvious early in the week that I wasn’t going to be prepared in time, so I decided to postpone to visit (probably until next weekend).

To be honest I wasn’t really too disappointed, it was a good excuse for me to stay in bed. Many weeks of getting up early nearly every morning have taken it’s toll and I really couldn’t face another early start. Besides there were plenty of other things that I wanted to do.

Top of those lists of things to do was a visit to Shoreham Postcard Fair, at Shoreham by Sea, West Sussex. So after a lazy start to the day I took the bus to Brighton and then Shoreham, and spent some more of my hard earned money on postcards.

Shoreham Postcard Fair is a fairly small postcard fair, probably twenty or so dealers, and not all postcards, some coins, stamps and cigarette cards. There was plenty to keep me occupied for several hours, and I came away with another eleven postcards for my growing collection, including some great bargains from one dealer’s 50p box.

The great thing about Shoreham Postcard Fair is that it is pretty convenient for me to get to, just two bus rides. Unfortunately it means passing through the crowded city of Brighton. Perhaps it is just me getting older, but I am starting to get very “crowd intolerant”. I am really starting to go off buses packed full of passengers and crowded pavements (and as we get nearer to Christmas it can only get worse), so I was very pleased to get back home, put my feet up and study my new postcards.

Picture Postcard Parade: St. Peter’s Church, Brighton

30 Aug

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.

St Peters Church Brighton

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 Peters Church Brighton (back)

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.

Personal Genealogy Update: Week 35

29 Aug

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 birth certificate of William Joseph Henry BATEMAN

26 Aug

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.

Postcards from Australia: Dead Beat

25 Aug

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.

Dead Beat

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.

Dead Beat (reverse)

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”?

The marriage certificate of Henry BATEMAN and Dorothy Isabella KINGHORN

23 Aug

I ordered a copy of the marriage certificate for quite specific reasons. In the big scheme of things it was not that important, there were no big mysteries to be solved. If anything it was more about establishing my personal connection with Brighton, Sussex. It has always surprised my that Brighton has not played a bigger part in the lives of my ancestors, but so far my family connections with the city have been few and far between.

Personally I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with Brighton. It is the closest city to where I live, and as such provides many facilities that I need to access from time to time (such as the Brighton History Centre) and acts as a transport hub with buses and trains heading across the country, but Brighton is usually far too busy for my liking, especially at this time of year.

But that’s enough about me, back to my ancestors. Henry BATEMAN married Dorothy Isabella KINGHORN on the 9th November 1881 at St. Peter’s Church, Brighton, Sussex. Henry was 22 years old and he was a groom, nothing surprising there, every other record I have seems to have his as a groom, stableman or coachman.

Dorothy was 27 years old and had no occupation shown. Neither of them had been married before and the marriage took place after banns had been read. The only possible mystery comes from the name of one of the witnesses, Mary Ann WATKINS. I have no idea who she was or whether she was related to either Henry or Dorothy, but I guess if she is a relation I will discover her identity in due course. The other witness was Dorothy’s brother Graham (actually Abraham Graham) KINGHORN.

The only surprise was that they were both living at separate addresses. Henry was at 58 Hanover Street and Dorothy was at 47 Jersey Street. I had expected to find them living at the same address, but I guess I was wrong. It was my impression that they had moved together from Spratton, Northamptonshire to Brighton after Dorothy became pregnant, perhaps they were still trying to maintain at least some impression of decency and doing the right thing. In the 1881 census Dorothy’s brother Graham was living at 79 Hanover Street, which probably explains why they were in that particular part of Brighton.

This certificate has proved quite useful, I now have several things I need to do to follow up the information provided on the certificate:

  1. Visit St. Peter’s Church and get some photographs.
  2. Visit 58 Hanover Street and 47 Jersey Street and get some photographs.
  3. Search the parish registers for St. Peter’s Church for the dates of the banns.
  4. Search the parish registers for St. Peter’s Church for the baptisms of their children.
  5. Check Brighton street directories to see who else was living at 58 Hanover Street and 47 Jersey Street.

Also this certificate has given me a definite connection with Brighton, and one of it’s most famous landmarks, St. Peter’s Church. Every time I go past it on the bus, or get off of the bus there to make my way to Brighton railway station I will be able to look at it knowing that my 2x great-grandparents were married there.

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