Diamonds in the Mailbox: A Letter From Walter John Bateson, 18 September, 1970

A few months back, Sugar received a packet of family letters and information from a cousin in Connecticut. And even though I haven’t finished with the Gold Mine in the Closet, it’s time for a Diamond from the Mailbox.

(Don’t strain your eyes. The transcription follows the images.)

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16 King Street, North,

Alliston, Ontario

Canada

18 September, 1970

Dear Cousin Douglas:

I was delighted to receive your letter with the enclosed charts

and correspondence. Due to my enthusiasm with the project of gathering

information on the Bateson family, and contacting relatives; I was

anxious to hear from you. I was not concerned because I was assured by

Mrs. Rosina Bateson that I would be hearing from you in the near future.

No apology required, and I thank you sincerely.

In my second letter to Mrs. Bateson, I enclosed sheets with

information similar to the attached sheets, on your immediate family.

I requested that if she felt so inclined would she attempt to fill in

the necessary information relating to your grandparents (Charles E.),

her husband and herself. I was sure that she would be in a better

position to give dates, places, etc. As I have not heard further from

her, perhaps you can assist in obtaining the information that I requested

from her. I would also appreciate if you would take the time to correct

my mistakes in the attached sheets of your family, add in the missing

information, and return one copy please.

I wrote to Farrar Jr. and Philip Briscoe Bateson. They acknowledged

my letters and will be forwarding similar information on their immediate

families. I, in turn, will complete and compile the information and will

send copies to you and other interested members of the family.

I am also enclosing my latest information on great aunt Florence

Amelia and her family. Florence’s daughter, Dorothy Talbot, age 95,

passed away on the 16th July 1970, in Victoria. She was cremated. I

have been corresponding with our cousin, Althea (Mrs. Hugh Aylmer) who is

Dorothy’s daughter.

I have some more requests to make from you:

(1) Would you please forward to me, Cousin Richard Humphrey’s

address – if available.

(2) Can you obtain more information for me on great uncle Horace’s

family. Did he have sons and daughters? Where are they living?

What are their names? From the chart you sent, there are two

names that are not legible to me. The first, Great uncle

Horace’s wife Sophia H. LAMEROUX. Is that correct? Second,

Great uncle Richard Henry’s son, FREDRICK __________? I

could not make out his second name.

(3) Our great aunt Polly (Mary Jane) who married Arthur Widdows

and had two sons; I believe the father and one of the sons

were lawyers. If this is so, through you Law connections,

perhaps you could attempt to trace their family without too

much difficulty. Hope that you will be able to pursue this

further.

-2-

I have a lead on information relating to two of our great-great

uncles who went to the USA from England before the Civil War. Like

yourself, the gentleman is very busy and is unable to devote too much

time to this project; but he informed me that I should be hearing from

him soon.

My daughter, Lynda, went to England for a visit. She left home

on the 3rd Sept and is spending the first couple of weeks in Coventry,

doing volunteer work at Coventry Cathedral. It is an inner city program

and involves youth from all over the world. From there she will visit

friends and relatives, then find work for awhile. She may stay a year.

I hope to have Lynda do some research for me. I would like to confirm

some of the information that we possess. I want to know the birthplace

of our great aunts and uncles; Richard’s family. I saw great aunt Ada

when I was in England in 1940. Aunt Ethel was looking after her at the

time. I am certain that Ada dies in 1940-41 but I am not sure where she

was buried. My father was in England around 1930 and had a picture taken

with great aunt Clara. My sister may have the snap. I may make a trip

to the UK within the year. When in England in 1940, my Aunt Ethel gave

me Farrar Sr.’s and Geoffrey Widdows addresses. Being young and not

interested in genealogy, I did not attempt to write. Now, I regret not

having contacted members of your family because most of the generation

before us have passed on, and so much valuable information that could

have been recorded is lost.

On the 8th July, my wife, we call her Ella (Catherine Isobel) and

I drove to Winstead, Connecticut, to attend the funeral of Mr. Judson

LeGeyt. He was a former member of the General Assembly, State of Conn.,

representative for Barkhamstead County. Time was so short on this

occasion or I would have at least telephoned Mrs. Farrar Bateson Sr. We

were not too far away from your firm’s address in Stamford, as mentioned

in your letter.

My son Walter and daughter Shirley were in England last winter. I

was just getting started in genealogy so could not give them any direction

as to where to look for information on the family. Walter worked and

travelled around England, Scotland, Ireland, Gibralter and Europe. He

came home the end of April and went to work with the Dept. of Lands and

Forests at White River, Ontario. It is over 600 miles from Alliston.

I was up there for a few days on August 1st holiday. He came home a

couple of weeks ago and is getting ready to take off for the West Coast

of Canada, down through the USA to South America, then hopes to fly to

Australia. Last Saturday he went to the Maritimes to visit my Mother

in Dartmouth and his sister Shirley in Escumanic, Quebec. He plans to

return next year and resume his studies. Shirley taught school, and for

two years taught the Eskimos at Pond Inlet, Baffin Island, North West

Territory. She completed a world tour, and arrived home by way of

Vancouver, 8th May. She married the Rev. Ross Routliffe on the 27th

June in Ottawa. I was planning on visiting the newlyweds on our Thanks-

giving weekend, the 12th Oct., but Ella is deeply involved with meetings

at that time, and therefore will have to postpone it until later. The

children have travelled on their own resources without any assistance

from me (the kids).

-3-

Colin MacDonald must have been a very sick man between the years

1965-68. In his letter to you he mentioned having eye trouble. I hope

that you are successful in reaching him now.

I would like to know the whereabouts of Liston’s family in South

Africa. As a boy I corresponded with one of the sons, but we do not

possess an address. There were 5 boys and 2 girls, the opposite to my

family. There was Sarrah (Jarrah) Sybil, Seth, Serb, Sewell, Sidney.

I am not sure of all the names. I will have to write to the Registry

Office in Johannesburg, S.A., to try to locate them. Do you have any

suggestions of a quick and sure method of locating these cousins?

In his letters to you, Colin did not amplify on his family. He

did not enlighten you too much. No dates, places, etc. I certainly

wish that he had done so. Colin wrote to my brother Richard, Sardis,

B.C., in 1965. This past May or June Richard wrote to me and said

that Colin wrote to him but that he in turn did not write to Colin

because he misplaced the letter, and when he did find it, was too

embarrassed to write after such a long delay. I wrote to him in June

in care of his Australian address – no response. It appears that the

Batesons are notorious procrastinators when it comes to corresponding

with one another. I am trying to avoid the pitfall, hope that you

will do the same. Poor Colin did not fare too well in 1965. Are there

other relations left in Australia?

At a later date I will accept your kind offer to provide copies

of family pictures. I will make the same offer to you. At present I

do not possess many pictures but with the help of my sister, Dora, will

try to obtain more. She is working on our Mother’s family tree, at the

same time I asked her to do a write up on our Father, so that I can have

it recorded.

One more request before signing off. The sheet of Sundry Batesons

before 1600. If you have time and can make out the writing, would you

mind forwarding a typewritten copy. It will help to make sure that we

have recorded it properly.

Once again I thank you for your assistance; and hope that you will

find the time to correspond at regular intervals. I also hope that one

day we will be able to meet. I expect to have lots of questions to ask,

and you in turn feel free to ask the same from me.

How is your Mother? Is she living near you? I am looking forward

to hearing from you son with the information on you immediate family,

and my questions. In the meantime, my regards to you and your family.

Sincerely,

Cousin Walter

The two great uncles that he refers to are Robert Remington Bateson and Christopher Remington Bateson. If you have been reading this blog for longer than 15 minutes, you’ll probably know that Christopher Remington Bateson’s family is buried in Laurel Grove Cemetery, and Sugar had the plot marker made and installed only a few months ago. Robert Remington Bateson is buried in New York in Green-wood Cemetery.

IMG_7737

Why is so important that I need to write about Walter John Bateson right now?

Because Sugar and I met his son and daughter-in-law just a few days ago. I’m going to break my self-imposed blog rule now and post our faces, not just side shots or tops of heads or shoes…

But who is whom?

But who is whom?

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