In Which There Are Ten

(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.

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27 Responses to “In Which There Are Ten”

  1. Judith Richards Shubert Says:

    Loved reading about this, Ruth. It’s so gratifying when someone reaches out to you and connections are made. Your visit to the cemetery and your finding ten extra people buried near the family is a story you HAVE to finish telling. Even though I have no connection to Sugar and his family or the Bateson’s, this was fascinating.


    • ruthrawls Says:

      Judith, I asked Sugar if he knew of any Batesons in this area. He scrinched his head up, all wrinkly-like in deep thought like it was a trick question. He said no. He thought he was the 1st Savannah Bateson when he was born. Turns out an entire family of his cousins were lost.


  2. Pierre Lagacé Says:

    Reblogged this on Our Ancestors and commented:
    Part one of more to come…


  3. Pierre Lagacé Says:

    “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.”


    That’s compulsive, but I can understand.
    I am attracted to cemeteries, but I can control myself.
    I took some pictures of a cemetery along a back road, and I had asked myself… Should I post something about these dead people?

    I did…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Aquila Says:

    Yep, it’s compulsive. I’m not on Ancestry but I’ve got a lot of trees too, haven’t counted, it’s probably not a good idea.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ruthrawls Says:

      Hello Aquila, and welcome to the blog! I never got around to getting a software program like Family Tree Maker, and I have been most satisfied with I wouldn’t know how to make a family tree otherwise. Do you use a special program? I’m curious.
      I’ve made trees for people in my hometown, and many of us are interconnected by marriage, blood, and proximity. Fascinating, really. I’m compelled to do this. Someone helped me with my family tree long ago, and I feel duty-bound to help others.


      • Pierre Lagacé Says:

        Ancestry is a good tool for what you do and does not cost anything as long as you don’t take a paid subscription.

        My distant cousin told me that once your paid subscription is expired you don’t have access to your tree anymore if you don’t renew it.

        I know My Heritage works that way. This is why I migrated everything to Ancestry in 2010 and never took a paid subscription.

        I am only a guest…


      • Aquila Says:

        I use the now old PAF that used to be a free download from I also have a very old version of Family Tree Maker which I don’t use much, Legacy and Roots Magic. It’s a toss up between the last two. Roots Magic comes with a portable application that you load onto a USB drive to use with a laptop or other computer and you can add to your database with it as well as keep it on the USB drive, then when you get home you can add the new info to your main database. All of these programs provide various charts and reports that can be printed (some of them to PDF files). I’d recommend the Roots Magic for you, then Legacy. They’re not that hard to learn to use and have PDF manuals to help. Otherwise, I have a partial tree on but don’t really do anything with it. I had one on but they allow other people to mess with your work and they got it so screwed up I deleted as much as possible. When you have someone replacing outright wrong information when you’ve spent hours and hours digging for the correct stuff it’s just too frustrating to leave it alone. I decided my time was better spent researching rather than endlessly repairing things that shouldn’t have needed it. Feel free to email me if you have questions (


    • ruthrawls Says:

      Aquila, great information you just supplied. It seems like I tried Legacy over a decade ago, but chose for the long run.
      I like the simplicity of NOT storing things on my computer. I think I melted down several with the genealogy stuff. Then again, it might have been the operator and not the equipment.


      • Aquila Says:

        It was originally a financial decision for me. The cost of Roots Magic and Legacy were far cheaper than a subscription to, so the software was and easy choice. It does one no good having a subscription to an internet site when there is no internet service because the subscription is eating all the available funds. I like being able to go on line, not just for genealogy research.


        • ruthrawls Says:

          True. You can always find someone to help you with your research, even if you don’t have an subscription, but only if you have an internet connection.


  5. In Which There Are Ten, Expanded | Ruthrawls's Blog Says:

    […] Which There Are Cats & Yarns. Oh, and dead people. « In Which There Are Ten In Which We Find Two More […]


  6. In Which We Find Two More | Ruthrawls's Blog Says:

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


  7. Alice & Georgia Bateson, Two Orphans of Savannah | Ruthrawls's Blog Says:

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


  8. itg0 Says:

    Very interesting! I love the way you think…


  9. In Which There Are Batesons | Ruthrawls's Blog Says:

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


  10. Thomas Bateson of New York & Savannah, 1841-1877 | Ruthrawls's Blog Says:

    […] (This is the sixth part of a series.  If you would like to start at the first part, click here.) […]


  11. Bateson, Mann, & Scheper: Or, On to Beaufort! | Ruthrawls's Blog Says:

    […] (This is the seventh part of a series.  If you would like to start at the first part, click here.) […]


  12. Agnes Mann, Hotel Keeper of Beaufort, South Carolina, 1880 | Ruthrawls's Blog Says:

    […] (This is the eighth part of a series.  If you would like to start at the first part, click here.) […]


  13. Because I Can’t Stop Thinking About Agnes Mann | Ruthrawls's Blog Says:

    […] (This is the ninth part of a series.  If you would like to start at the first part, click here.) […]


  14. One Hundred and Thirty-Five Years Later… | Ruthrawls's Blog Says:

    […] this year Sugar and I discovered that several of his cousins moved from Lancashire, England, to New York City,….  The most remarkable thing about this discovery was that the information came from another […]


  15. FlowerFest 2014: Poinsettias for Bonaventure and Laurel Grove | Ruthrawls's Blog Says:

    […] We’re not done. The Batesons need some poinsettias, too, especially when you stop to consider that this family has been in unmarked graves since 1855. Sugar had their marker made and installed this year after we learned that they were his cousins from Lancashire, England. […]


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