Tag Archives: marriage

Australian Relations: Annie Clark MCCONACHY (her first marriage)

2 Aug

This is another article in a series of posts about William Joseph Henry BATEMAN, his family and their lives in Australia. This is an ongoing research project, I certainly don’t know all the details yet, so if you can help me fill in any details then please get in touch.

When William Joseph Henry (WJH) married in 1905 his wife was a widow, and she had one child from that previous marriage. Her married name was Annie Clark BULL and her maiden name was MCCONACHY.

Annie’s first marriage was to Reginald Ambrose BULL in Victoria, Australia in 1899. The same year also saw the registration of the birth of their son Sidney Ambrose BULL, although a declaration in his WW1 service record states that he was born on 15th November 1898, in Geelong, Victoria, Australia.

Their brief marriage ended the following year when Reginald Ambrose BULL died. I don’t know the exact circumstances, only that his death was registered that year in Geelong, Victoria.

After Annie and WJH BATEMAN were married Sidney seems to have become part of the new family, and used the surname BATEMAN when he joined the Australian Infantry on the 27th December 1916.

Tragically Sidney was killed in action on the 3rd December 1917 in Belgium, around seven weeks after arriving in France and less than ten months after leaving Australia. He is buried in the Berks Cemetery Extension, Ploegsteert, Belgium. Fortunately none of WJH and Annie’s other children were old enough to serve during the First World War.

Australian Relations: William Joseph Henry BATEMAN (The Marriage: 1905)

30 Jul

This is the third in a series of articles about William Joseph Henry BATEMAN and his family from Australia. This is an ongoing research project and so far much of the research is based on index entries and is unverified, if you have more information or corrections then please get in touch.

On the 22nd April 1905 William Joseph Henry (WJH) BATEMAN (aged 23) married Annie Clark BULL (aged 24). The ceremony took place at the Parsonage, Yarra Street, Geelong, Victoria, Australia and was performed by William Williams, a Methodist Minister.

The digital copy of the marriage registration is not very clear and slightly tricky to read, but for someone used to English marriage certificates it potentially provides much more detail. Instead of just a father’s name, it also includes the mother’s maiden name. It also gives place of birth for the bride and groom and their present residence and their usual residence.

WJH is shown as a seaman, living on the HMS Katoomba, Annie’s residence is not easy to make out except that it was in Geelong, neither is her place of birth, somewhere in Victoria but that is all I can work out.

WJH’s parents are correctly shown as Henry BATEMAN and Dorothy KINGHORN, and Henry’s profession is given as coachman, which agrees with other sources. Annie’s parents are Thomas MCCONACHY (a restaurant keeper) and Elizabeth STEEL. This suggests that at the relatively young age of 24 years Annie was already a widow.

This is confirmed in the condition column, which also tells us that her previous husband died in 1900 and that she had one child surviving from that marriage.

Australian BMD indexes on Ancestry.com.au

16 Jul

The release of the Australian BMD indexes on Ancestry.com.au is great news for my BATEMAN research. As most of the records relating to this family are connected with the state of Victoria I have so far been limiting the amount of index searches I do, because the Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages charge for their index search results.

I know the charges for index searches weren’t particularly high, but with an Ancestry Worldwide membership I can now search to my heart’s content and can also extend to some of my other surnames just to see who might have ended in Australia as well. I am sure there are more than just the BATEMANs who went out there.

Interestingly a search for the surname GASSON in the death indexes only returns 81 results, and the surname TROWER returns only 49, both of which are a lot lower than I would have expected. The result might reflect the coverage of the indexes more than the number of my relations that actually left these shores.

One thing that doesn’t seem clear from the Ancestry web pages is the coverage dates for these indexes. It correctly states that the dates when civil registration started varies for each state or territory, but doesn’t mention that they also appear to have different cut-off dates for public access to the indexes.

As an example, although the birth index quotes the dates 1788-1922, there don’t appear to be any Victoria births after 1909. I haven’t played around to find the limits for all event types and places, but don’t be surprised if you don’t find the record you are looking for, despite what the collection title might say. The shame is that there is not an easy way to find out, unless I am missing something.

Personal Genealogy Update: Week 27

4 Jul

After the last few weeks I was beginning to wonder if I had lost my enthusiasm for family history, but I am pleased to say I have regained it at last. I feel like things have started moving in the right direction again.

It helped that I visited a couple of ancestral churches on my last section of the South Downs Way, but really I think it was down to forcing myself to actually sit down and do some research. I made progress on a couple of the projects that I had set myself last week, although I didn’t do any more on the Australian BATEMAN family.

Best of all I have a bundle of papers (mostly HEMSLEY marriages) that need sorting out, which should keep me busy for a couple of weeks, sorting out who is who and entering all the details into my database. I have also started a couple more projects, which was inevitable really, but I need to try not to get too bogged down, trying to juggle too many projects at the same time.

This week I am going make a start on that bundle of papers, and see where that leads me. Also I need to try and find out more about Arthur Leonard JESSOP, was there any connection with my grandfather?

I have been feeling the urge to write more about Sussex, the county I call home. For example, I have seen so many things on my recent walk along the South Downs Way that are worthy of more detailed descriptions. I don’t think I am going to be able to keep it genealogy related, so this may mean starting another blog. I really want to make a decision this week.

Some progress in tracing “the old druggist”

8 Mar

Last Saturday I came away from the West Sussex Record Office with copies (and transcriptions) of two wills, one for Richard GEERING and one for his wife Mary GEERING (possibly “the old druggist”) probably my 6x great-grandparents from Hailsham, Sussex.

The information in them is not conclusive, Richard was a shopkeeper but no mention of what it was he sold. Both wills mention three children: James, Mary and Ann. In Mary’s will her daughter Mary has married someone with the name Baily.

So I have some useful clues to follow up here, I know what happened to James and Ann (remained in Hailsham), but I have no idea what happened to Mary. I have a baptism record for James, but not one for Mary or Ann.

It would appear that James left no will, or it wasn’t needed, but Ann did leave a will (according to the National Probate Calendar) and her niece Jane was her executrix. I need to order a copy of that will to see if any other family members are mentioned. It doesn’t appear that Jane left a will when she died in 1874.

It seems likely that Jane was the daughter of James (my 5x great-grandfather), because there is no indication of another son, so unless Mary or Ann had an illegitimate daughter there doesn’t appear to be any other option. I need to try and find her baptism somewhere.

I really would have liked to find a will for James GEERING, that made the connection to my 4x great-grandfather Richard GEERING in Lewes, Sussex. I don’t think I am going to find conclusive evidence unless he is mentioned in his aunt Ann’s will.

Now I have all this information to integrate into my research, and several baptisms to locate, also a marriage to find (and possibly some children). I then need to assess what other records I can hope to find at East Sussex Record Office.

Mercy TROWER: perhaps she didn’t marry?

9 Feb

On Sunday afternoon I was sitting watching TV, which is unusual for me, it was Agatha Christie’s Poirot starring David Suchet (who was once a subject of the Who Do You Think You Are? TV series).

Even as I was sitting there I couldn’t stop thinking about family history and in particular Mercy TROWER. The fact that I can’t find a record of her marriage makes me suspicious that she might have been lying about being a widow.

What Hercule Poirot made me wonder is, what would Mercy’s motive be for lying about being a widow? Allcriminals need to have a motive, be it money, lust or revenge. I am not suggesting that Mercy was a criminal, but if she was lying about being a widow then she must have had a motive for doing so.

The problem is that I cannot think of a motive, how could Mercy possibly benefit from pretending to be a widow? I can only come up with two possibilities which both seem so improbable that it is hardly worth considering them.

  1. Mercy had done something illegal or something she was ashamed of and changed her name and marital status to hide her identity.
  2. Mercy pretended to be married to inherit something from her alleged husband, perhaps a former employer.

Like I said, I can’t believe either of these are true, and it still seems more likely that her marriage wasn’t correctly recorded, not that it didn’t ever take place.

If you fancy playing Hercule Poirot (or Miss Marple), let me know if you can think of a motive for Mercy lying about being a widow, my little grey cells are just about out of ideas!

Mercy TROWER: what to do next

7 Feb

Having described what I already know about Mercy TROWER and what I want to find out, so now it is time to think about how I am going to do it.

To be honest I am not really sure what more I can do, it seems like I have checked every likely record to find a possible marriage, or two possible marriages for Mercy.

I have ordered her son’s marriage certificate, that may give me the name of his father, who may have been the STEADMAN that Mercy was supposed to have married, if not there is another man in her life that I will need to find out about.

The absence of any marriages in England and Wales (according to the GRO indexes) could suggest that the marriage took place elsewhere. There is no obvious sign of Mercy in any online passenger lists, but it may have been that she didn’t travel that far, so possibly Scotland or Ireland.

My searches of the GRO indexes have been confined to searching on FreeBMD. I need to actually check the indexes images in case something was missed in the transcription process, but I doubt it very much.

Likewise I should check with the local register office, just in case the marriage never made it into the main GRO index. The problem is that I don’t really know where the marriages might have taken place. It would guess it would have been in Sussex, in either Henfield or Brighton.

I could search for the death of a STEADMAN between 1884 and 1891, but the number of death certificates I would need to buy would be too expensive. Although I could start locally (Steyning Registration District) and work outwards, but the odds of finding the correct record are not good.

The only way I would know if I had found the right one is if Mercy (or another TROWER) was the informant, but of course I could find the right STEADMAN and not know it was the correct one if someone else had registered the death.

So, I think I will do three things in my attempt to solve the mystery surrounding Mercy’s life:

  1. Wait for the marriage certificate of Ernest John TROWER to arrive, and hope it provides more clues.
  2. Check the GRO index images to make sure Mercy’s marriage wasn’t missed in the transcription process.
  3. Search the local papers (Sussex Daily News and West Sussex County Times) from 1882 to 1891 to see if there is any mention of Mercy and either of her possible husbands.
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