Archive for May, 2014

Alice & Georgia Bateson, Two Orphans of Savannah

May 22, 2014

(This is the fourth part of a series.  If you would like to read the first part, click here.)

Using a wild card method by inserting an asterisk instead of a letter in a word, I found Alice and Georgia Bateson in 1880 in Savannah, Georgia.  They were both living in the Episcopal Orphan Home at the southwest corner of Liberty and Jefferson.

The orphanage is no longer on the lot.  It’s a parking garage now for the city of Savannah.

Look below on lines 33 and 34.  You can left-click on the image to enlarge and educate.

BatesonAlice&Georgia1880 Orphans


And there is such a thing as a Supplemental Schedule for Homeless Children – “Defective, Dependent, and Delinquent Classes”.  This particular one was taken in June 1880 for the Episcopal Orphan Home.


I've cropped the original image, and outlined the pertinent info in red.

I’ve cropped the original image, and outlined the pertinent info in red.


There’s a lot to learn from the answers given in the columns.  I’ve transcribed them below.  The answers are the same for both girls.

Column 3:  Name – Line 13 for Alice Bateson & Line 14 for Georgia Bateson

Column 4:  City or Town – Savannah

Column 5:  County (if in same state), or

state (if in some other state) – Chatham

Column 6:  Is this child’s father deceased?  Yes

Column 7:  Is this child’s mother deceased?  Yes

Column 8:  Has this child been abandoned by his

(or her) parents?  No

Column 9:  Has this child’s parents surrendered

the control over him (or her) to the

institution?  Yes

Column 10:  Was this child born in the institution?  No

Column 11:  If not so born, state year when admitted.  1876

Column 12:  Is the child illegitimate?  No

Column 13:  Is this child separated from his or her

(living) mother?  (No answer)

Column 14:  Has he (or she) ever been arrested? 

If yes, for what alleged offense?  No

Column 15:  Has he (or she) ever been con-

victed or sentenced?  No

Column 16:  Has the origin of this child been

respectable?  Yes

Column 17:  Has he (or she) been removed from

criminal surroundings?  No

Column 18:  Is this child blind?  (blank)

Column 19:  Is he (or she) a (can’t read)?  (blank)

Column 20:  Is he (or she) an idiot?  (blank)


Here’s what we know when we view the Episcopal Orphan Home Census.  Their mother Martha was deceased in 1874.  When mother Martha died, their father Thomas was the last surviving adult Bateson in Savannah, with 4-year-old Alice, 3-year-old Georgia, and 2-year-old Thomas H.  Father Thomas’s business was not doing well, and he had been taken to court several times and lost.  Things must have been dismal for him to relinquish his two daughters to the orphan home.

Martha’s record of burial in Laurel Grove Cemetery shows that she died and was buried on the same day, May 3, 1874.  This tells me that the family knew that she was ill and had made preparations for her death.  Perhaps she needed to be buried quickly due to the nature of her illness.

BatesonMarthaMann Death 1874

Now cropped and outlined for better viewing.

BatesonMarthaMann Death 1874

Martha Bateson was 25 when she died, leaving behind 3 children ages 4 and under.  She died from…

BatesonMarthaMann Death 1874 (p2)



Sugar’s great-grandfather was William Starr Basinger, a native of Savannah.  I’ve written about his a lot, all on this blog.  He was an attorney, he was in the Civil War as a member of the Savannah Volunteer Guards, he wrote copious letters while a prisoner of war, and he left a book of “Personal Reminiscences” for his children.

There are records of him in the city directory of Savannah.  I commented how odd that” Basinger” and “Bateson” are so close together in the directory.  We never noticed.  We never made a connection.


William Starr Basinger’s law office was on Drayton.  Thomas Bateson’s toy store was on the southeast corner of Drayton and Congress.  Surely they knew of each other.

William Starr Basinger and his wife and children lived with his mother Jane Susan Starr Basinger and his sister Elizabeth “Georgia” Basinger on Liberty Street.  We know that Sugar has Jane Susan Starr Basinger’s Family Bible, so we’ve seen her handwriting and we know that she was Christian.  We don’t know anything about Elizabeth “Georgia” Basinger, except that she didn’t marry.  She’s in a family photo, but we don’t know anything about her everyday life, her thoughts, her beliefs.


Lastly, in 1880 we find yet another census listing Georgia Bateson.  She’s living in a household as a 9-year-old servant.

BatesonGeorgia1880 Hartridge

Sugar knew of this family, and said that they were well-to-do, and it was fortunate that Georgia was placed in this home.  I worried that she and her sister Alice were separated.  Which is worse, being a 9-year-old servant in a well-to-do household, or staying with a family member in an orphanage?  Who can say?  We can’t know the dynamics of either.

So I tried to find out more about the Episcopal Orphan Home, which is no longer in existence.  Sugar thinks that we can learn more from Christ Church.  In the meantime, because is available all night, I went to the Savannah City Directory.

Here’s one from 1877, one from 1879, and one from 1882.






And whom do we see in the position of First Directress?  Miss E. Bassinger.  That would be Elizabeth “Georgia” Basinger, who lived two blocks away from the Episcopal Orphan Home on Liberty Street.  Sugar thinks that she helped place Georgia Bateson in the Hartridge home.

I can’t find another trace of Georgia Bateson.  There is no 1890 census, and I can’t locate her in 1900.

And where’s Alice?  Why didn’t she get placed in a home?  Was she deceased?

Yes, she was deceased, but not until 1951.  That’s right, Nineteen Fifty-One.

BatesonAlice married Herzog 1869-1951

Alice Bateson married a man named Herzog, and they named their daughter…(you already know the answer)…


Good-night, ladies.  You are in our thoughts.



In Which We Find Two More

May 21, 2014

(This is the third part of a series.  If you would like to read the first part, click here.)

It was a sad little trip to the Laurel Grove Cemetery.

We found Lot 322.

We found there were no markers on the lot.  Nothing.  Not of any kind.

So Sugar thinks that he wants to have a marker made for these Batesons that originated in Lancashire, England.

But what to say on the marker?


I decide to make a timeline on an excel spreadsheet with the names and life spans of the Christopher R. Bateson family that I found on the database for the city of Savannah.  Perhaps then we can guess who belongs to whom.

I take their dates of death and their approximate age at death, and count backwards to get their approximate date of birth.  Subtraction comes in handy here.

Christopher R. Bateson and his wife Mary were both born approximately in 1818.

Christopher R. Bateson died in 1855.

Mary Bateson died in 1869.

Christopher H. Bateson is born in 1840 and died in 1870.

Thomas Bateson is born in 1841 and died in 1877.

Alice Bateson is born in 1845 and died in 1853.

Mary Jane Bateson is born and died in 12 hours in 1853.

Martha Bateson is born in 1848 and died in 1874.

Thomas H. Bateson is born in 1872 and died in 1879.

Thomas H. Bateson is the key.  He’s born in 1872 after Christopher R. and Mary are deceased, so they are not his parents.  There’s only one probable mother, and that is Martha Bateson.  There’s only one probable father, and that is Thomas Bateson, because Christopher H. is deceased and there are no other males.  Most probably Thomas H. is named for his father Thomas, and the middle initial “H.” is for his uncle Christopher H., although we don’t know what the H. stands for.

It looks like the whole family was wiped out.


What if they weren’t?

Julie in Brussels, who started this whole conundrum, weighs in.

These Batesons are certainly a bit of a mystery! I hope you eventually sort
it all out. It makes you wonder whether the whole family died out in
Savannah, or whether anyone survived and moved away from the area.

I assume you have already looked, but are any of these Batesons on the 1870
US census? Some of them were still alive in 1870 so should show up
somewhere. I have found that Bateson can be very easily misspelled and so I
have got good results by searching on Bat*son as the * can be e or i or
sometimes double t.

No, I’ve never used * as a wild card.  I can’t find them using the spelling “Bateson”, so how is it possible that I can find them by using an incomplete spelling?

I am a slow learner.


I type in “Bat*son”, and *Squeeee*, I find in the 1880 census for the City of Savannah, County of Chatham, State of Georgia, Alice Bateson and then Georgia Bateson, born about 1870 and 1871.

Living in the Episcopal Orphan Home.





In Which There Are Ten, Expanded

May 16, 2014

(This is the second part of a series.  If you would like to read the first part, click here.)

When I learn something that I can’t quite wrap my brain around, I avoid it and walk away.  Usually I’m just walking a circle on my way back to the whatever-it-is, and I’m thinking and staring off into space, and if I have the camera, I’m taking photos.

After finding nothing on the Bateson plot at Lot 322 in Laurel Grove Cemetery except a piece of broken metal decorative work, I wandered around.  I could see the Densler mausoleum only a few rows over.  Did the Batesons and the Denslers know of each other?  Probably not.  But surely the Basingers and the Batesons knew of each other.


J. Walz was an important and popular sculptor in Savannah. Unfortunately, we’ll never know what this looked like when it was new. It’s toppled over, and there appears to be glue that held it together, and that the damage was caused by time, not vandals.



Henry E. Campsen 1889-1915




TO THE MEMORY OF Dr. JAMES M. GORDON who was born April 21st, 1821, and died of Yellow Fever in this City Sept. 18th, 1854.


Resolute in his devotion to the call of humanity he shrank not even from the pestilence but fell himself a martyr amidst those he sought to save.








Sugar called me over to see if I could read the name on this headstone.  It looked like “Cricc”, but we decided after looking at adjoining headstones, that the name was Grigg.  He served in the Savannah Volunteer Guards, and surely William Starr Basinger, Sugar’s great-grandfather, knew him.





Sadly, we got back in the van, and headed over to the corner of Drayton and Congress where the Bateson brothers had their store in the 1870’s.  They also lived in the same general area.

We couldn’t find Congress, although I thought that this was it from my remembering the map, but Sugar said no, it’s just an alley.




We circled around and found Congress, and the location of the Bateson family.



To the right.  There’s nothing left of their home and business, except some weird light pattern.



We headed home, and I got out the computer, and did some more research.

We’re gonna have good stuff coming up soon.  I just have to get my thoughts in order.

In Which There Are Ten

May 7, 2014

(This is the first in a series.)

I started writing this blog in 2009 as a college class assignment.  I didn’t know I’d keep writing.  I didn’t have a clear purpose for the blog.  I don’t even have a fancy name.  I like the fact that the blog name still has the word “blog” in it, because, people, this is just my opinion and random facts knitted together.  If you want hard news and current events, this is not your place to be.

If you want news about cats and yarns and dead people, step right up.  And comment, please, ’cause bloggers are needy and we love comments.  Of course, out of the three, cats cause the most controversy because everyone has an opinion about cats.  Yarns, not so much.  Dead people are in a category by themselves.  If I’m not writing about your particular dead people, you just might not be interested.

Dead people stories are fascinating.  We make up entire stories around the most remote facts and family history.  What I like about my dead people stories is that I have facts in the form of source materials, like birth & marriage & death records, census records, old letters and family collections, and court records.  Sometimes I can find a photo of a person, but mostly, I take photos of headstones and cemetery lots.

I make family trees for people that ask, or for people that don’t ask but are clearly interested in their family tree.  I have over 50 trees on, and I’ve made them private.  Sometimes I receive messages from people who want to know more about a particular family tree, like this message two weeks ago from Brussels.

I think that the Richard Bateson b 1824 Westhoughton in your Bateson Family Tree is probably the Richard Bateson who married Susannah Wagstaff in 1847 ? This Richard Bateson was a younger brother of my 3xG grandfather, Henry Bateson, and I wondered if/how you are related.

I am particularly trying to find out about descendants of Richard Bateson’s son, Charles Edward Bateson who I think emigrated to the US – but it’s proving somewhat tricky as I only have access to UK records. I have seen his gravestone on the findagrave site and there are various ‘calculated relationships’ to other Bateson family members but it is difficult to know if this information is complete and/or accurate. I think you are probably the same person who created the memorial for Richard Humpreyes Bateson (1947-61) and so I hope that you might be able to give me more information on this Bateson line.

Best regards,

This nice lady is asking about Sugar’s family.  The Charles Edward Bateson who emigrated?  Sugar’s great-grandfather.

She went on to say that there are Batesons buried in Savannah in Laurel Grove Cemetery, and she produced the proof from an online source, the City of Savannah Burial Records.

Sugar didn’t know anything about any Batesons buried in Savannah in the 1800’s.  The most recent burial was 1879.








It appears that these Batesons were in New York City for a while, then moved to Savannah.  This family is in Lot 322, and we were curious to learn more.

I found Christopher H. and Thomas Bateson in 1860 living with Jonathan and Mary Graham.  Who were the Grahams?  Sugar suggested that the boys were living with their mother who had remarried after the death of her husband Christopher R. Bateson in 1855.  And you know what?  He’s right.  I searched the database for Mary Graham, and she’s also buried in Lot 322.


This means a field trip was in order.


We started bright and earlyish for Savannah.  Not many tourists were out and about, and one lone runner traced the lanes in the cemetery, back and forth, his bright yellow jersey a spot of color in all the gray headstones and mausoleums.

We already knew the general area of Lot 322, and as we made our way, Sugar commented on names that he recognized.  I said that we had been this way before, and how had we missed an entire lot of Batesons?  It’s not a common name.

We arrived at the Lot 322.

Sugar:  There it is.

YoursTruly:  There they are!

Sugar:  There’s nothing there.

YoursTruly:  There’s the marker for 322.  There they are!

Sugar:  No, the lot is empty.

We pulled in from of Lot 322, which was.  Empty.  The marker was off to the side, next to the lot next door which did have residents.



Sugar walks the empty lot.



This shot is taken from the back of the lot. There are markers in each lot on either side.


The lot in the foreground in Lot 321. Lot 322 is the strip of green next to the van, and it appears to be the same size as the outlined Lot 321.


Sugar spots something buried in the ground.


He pried it up, and it appears to be a section of fence. Whatever it is, it’s metal.


This concrete piece is next to the curbing that outlines Lot 321. It’s not clear if there was a fence here, but there’s a bit on metal embedded in the concrete.



This is the only other thing remaining on the lot, and it’s also next to the curbing for Lot 321. There appears to be a small hole in the granite.

Well, this was weird, and sad.  I felt like crying.  Eight people, buried right here for over 135 years, and possibly cemetery workers had been piling debris here on this EMPTY lot for later removal.

Why else would there be a piece of decorative metal lying on the ground?

Sugar decided he wants to have a marker put here.  I call the cemetery office for him to find out, just on the outside chance, if there are any other people buried here.

The main office is at Bonaventure, and a nice lady named Earline helped me.  She found that there are TEN people buried here, not the eight we knew about.  This confounds things.  We don’t know how the other two fit into this family.

Curiouser and curiouser.