Tag Archives: william joseph henry bateman

Another day, another archive

11 Feb

I had another day off today and the weather was miserable again, so I headed for the East Sussex Record Office in Lewes, East Sussex to knock some more items off my to-do list.

The plan was much the same as yesterday at the West Sussex Record Office, which essentially meant there was no plan, just collect as much data as possible, and if it cleared stuff from my to-do list then even better. Like yesterday there weren’t really any major discoveries, but I was pleased to find a few entries that have been (or should have been) on my to-do list for a long time.

These included baptism records for my grandmother and great-grandmother. I had never got around to looking for either record before, I had a pretty good idea where the first record would be and had already found an index entry for the second and just need to double-check it.

The most pleasing find however was the baptism record for William Joseph Henry BATEMAN. I have written much about William (who joined the Royal Navy and ended up making his home in Australia) but had never sat down before and searched for his baptism record, even though I had a pretty good idea where I should be looking.

The most surprising find was the baptism record for George TROWER in Brighton. Even though he is not a particularly close relation (first cousin three times removed) I had searched for his baptism for several years. His parents were from Henfield, Sussex but spent a few years in Brighton before returning to the family farm in Henfield. It was really pleasing to find his baptism today because I had not been deliberately looking for it.

It shouldn’t take me long to sort through this information (and that collected yesterday) and enter it in the right spreadsheet and database, but these two days have highlighted the fact that I need to get my to-do list a little better organised. Over the last two days I have largely been working with my netbook (for the to-do list and my family tree) and a lined A4 refill pad, this worked pretty well but my to-do list is get too large and in some cases it doesn’t have enough information, perhaps it is time to upgrade from my simple text file.

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.

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: Away in the land of the Wattle and Gum

22 Sep

This is the last of my “Postcards from Australia” posts for a while, although there are a couple of other souvenirs I will be featuring in the coming weeks. This card was sent by William Joseph Henry BATEMAN (of Port Melbourne, Victoria) to his sister (Dorothy) May BATEMAN in Sussex, England.

Away in the land of the Wattle and Gum

The picture is not particularly appealing to me, but it is a good example of cramming in almost every Australian stereotype you can imagine into one image, and it has the added novelty of a metal kangaroo attached to the front (if you look at the back you can see where the fastenings are).

The gold print didn’t scan very well, so you can’t read the writing on the leaf in the top-left corner, but it says:

“Good Cheer!” It comes from the Sunny South,
And is wafted far over the sea;
And it tells you that, under the Southern Cross,
Someone is thinking of thee.

As with some of the previous “Postcards from Australia” the message on the back is probably more interesting than the picture on front.

Away in the land of the Wattle and Gum (back)

The message is dated the 7th May, but no year is given. The message is a little hard to read, and is short on punctuation, but it is basically wishing May a happy birthday and hoping everyone is well.

Just a few lines hoping you are quite well as I am pleased to say we are all pretty well over here at present and to Wish you many happy returns of the day. I am sorry we are a bit late but better late than never I hope you are still getting on nicely at your place. I suppose it will not have you much longer I hope Mum & Dad are both doing well and are in the best of health Annie myself and Children are all pretty well and are still jogging along I suppose you are having some nice weather now. I also hope the intended is in the best of health I suppose mother received Annies letter last week, so Good Bye, Love to all at home “Will”

There are a couple of dating clues in the message, if you know where to look. “Will” supposes her place “will not have you much longer” and enquires about the health of her intended. I assume this means that the message was written not long before May was due to be married, and would probably be leaving her place (where she worked) and moving in with her husband.

(Dorothy) May BATEMAN (my great-grandmother) married Henry John TROWER (my great-grandfather) on the 5th August 1911 at Christ Church, Sayers Common, Sussex, so that probably means that this card was sent earlier that year.

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