What Was Tangled Becomes Less Tangled: A Letter From Thomas Bateson, 1873

I’ve talked about the Bateson family a lot here on the blog. It started when Sugar and I learned that there was a Bateson family in Savannah, Georgia, that died out 135 years ago.

We’re so close to Savannah that we can be there in under an hour.

But what about people that live far away, like Julie in Belgium? She can’t just hop a freighter and pop in to say hello. However, we do have our friend the internet, and we can chat in fragmented pieces, allowing a bit of downtime for sleep and the time difference. It takes a while to discuss things.

Like Batesons. We want to talk about the Batesons. It appears that the earliest Batesons in America were not Sugar’s ancestors. Julie in Belgium figured out last year that it was one generation before, that being the Christopher Remington Bateson family. He was married to Mary, and they came to New York City, and then later moved to Savannah. They had four children, Alice, Christopher H., Mary Jane, and Thomas.

Through the magic of the internet, a Bateson cousin from Canada found the blog, and commented that he had a copy of a letter written by Thomas Bateson to his uncle Henry back home in England. And Henry? Just happened to be Julie’s ancestor. And just to make this all a bit more remarkable, none of these descendants knew of each other before the blog.

And when the Canada Batesons come to town to meet us, do they bring a copy of the letter?

Ohyestheydo.

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T. BATESON,

DEALER IN GERMAN, FRENCH, ENGLISH & AMERICAN

TOYS & FANCY GOODS,

Musical Instruments, fire-works, Confectionery, fruits, Nuts, etc.,

CORNER CONGRESS & DRAYTON STREETS,

Savannah, Ga.     April 23, 1873

Dear Uncle Henry,

Some years have elapsed since

my last writing to you, and no doubt you may won-

der what it is that now prompts me after such

long silence. At my last writing which I think

was shortly after the close of our late civil

war, my Mother and Brother Christopher was

alive and well. Since which time death has

claimed them. Mother after an illness of

six days died April 10th, 1869 of Typhoid

Pneumonia and Brother Christopher Henry died

Oct. 12th, 1870 of Pulmonary disease.

I am now the only one that is living of your

brother Christopher’s family. I hope that on

your side of the Atlantic that death has

not been so sure a reaper and that your

own family as well as my other Uncles

and Aunts are in the enjoyment of good health.

Respecting myself I will state that I am

now 31 years of age, married, and have three

children named, respectively, Alice, Georgia Agnes,

and Thomas Remington, and am continuing the

business established by Father in 1852 at

the same stand.

Shall be pleased to hear from you; also

from my Aunts.

Your affectionate Nephew,

Thos. Bateson

Original Letter held by Mrs. Bess Blagden (Col William Blagden).

Granddaughter of Henry Bateson, Overdene, Brighton.

Copy given to Walter J. Bateson 15 April 1973.

*****

Goodnight, Bateson people. We’re thinking of you.

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