A Letter to Colin McDonald: July 25, 1965

Another letter from the package of letters and items that Sugar received from his cousin.

The transcription follows. Make a cup of tea and sit down.

The transcription errors are mine, and mine alone. I usually post a transcription after review and correction, but on this one, I keep finding errors on my part. Note to self: Do not transcribe while talking to Sugar on the phone.

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July 25, 1965

Mr. Colin McDonald

122 Marine Parade


Western Australia

Dear. Mr. McDonald:

Mrs. E. Farrar Bateson has shown my mother, Lucinda

Bateson More, your letters of May 12 and June 1. My mother, in

turn, has asked me, as the unofficial ( and I fear inefficient)

family genealogist, to write you, which I do with pleasure.

My grandfather, Charles Edward Bateson, apparently was

not a communicative man and was regrettably uninformative about

his family. Accordingly, I have much less information on the

Bateson family than on the families of my other grandparents.

I will give you below what I know, and hope, in turn, that you

will favor me with some additional information:

Richard H. Bateson:

While having no information, except that he was still

alive in the late 1880’s and that his wife was then dead, I do

have pictures. I also have a picture of a pretty but wistful

young woman which appears to have been taken about a hundred years

ago and may well be his wife, Susannah Wagstaffe. (I note you

spell this Wagstaff. Have you an authoritative source?) Would

you be able to identify the picture? I should be happy to send

you copies of these or any of the other pictures noted below

which would interest you. Getting copies made takes some time,

and, not wishing to delay this letter any longer, I am not sending

any now, but as stated, would be delighted to do so. As to

Richard’s children:

  1. Richard Henry:

I would very much like to have a chart of his descendants

(including yourself) showing dates of birth and death, dates of


marriage, names and dates of birth and death of their spouses,

and any other items of particular interest. Unfortunately, until

hearing from you, we have no facts at all about your grandfather.

  1. Clara Beatrice:

She died about 1925, never having married. I am told

she was very game and was travelling about on then primitive air-

planes and what-not right up to the end. She visited this country

but was resident in England. I have a picture taken about 1878.


  1. Charles Edward:

According to an advertisement received from “Burke’s

Landed Gentry” in 1937, he was from the West Riding of Yorkshire

and came to this country in 1871. I do not know the ship.

He was the first to come over. As you will see below, a brother and

a sister came later. He settled in New Orleans, La., and there

married (June 21, 1877) my grandmother, Mary McLaughlin Stamps

(born March 22, 1861, died on her birthday in 1950). They moved

to St. Louis, Mo. after the birth of their first child. From

there, they moved in the late 1880’s to New Rochelle, N.Y., where

my mother was born in 1889. In the mid 1890’s, they moved to

New York City and remained there. He died June 13, 1918 and is

buried in Tarrytown, N.Y. next to his wife, three of their children

and one grandchild. As to their children and descendants, please

refer to the enclosed page of a chart I prepared some years ago,

and which I have updated as legibly as I can. The remainder of

the chart related to the family of Mary McLaughlin Stamps and

presumably would be of scant interest to you. It is this kind of

chart which I would like to prepare for the Bateson family, given

sufficient information. I have pictures of Charles Edward Bateson,

mostly in later life. He was quite successful, with reverses, in

the textile business.

  1. Florence Amelia:

She married Francis Humphreys and had three children:

Dorothy (I think the oldest), Francis and Brian. I have no informa-

tion on Francis (“Frank”) or Brian, except that Francis was the

older. I have a picture of Brian as an English Army officer in

  1. Dorothy (“Dolly”) married John Talbot, an English Army

officer (who I think became a general), and had two pretty daughters,


Althea and Vivian. Shortly after World War I, the Talbots moved

to Vancouver, B. C. with the young girls. Vancouver was then

wilderness, and they lived there seemingly as pioneers. My

mother believes they later returned to England. I have pictures

of Florence in 1878 and with her infant granddaughters, and

various portraits and snapshots of Dolly and her family in England

and Vancouver, as well as pictures of the handsome Talbot family

place “Rack Leage” (sp?) in Gloucestershire.

  1. Walter:

My mother thinks he died young. She is not aware that

he married, as indicated in your May 12 letter. Further informa-

tion would be appreciated. He was a great favorite of my gran-

mother, his sister-in-law. I have a picture of him taken in

Leipzig, apparently about 1878.

  1. Susan Ada:

According to my mother, she was an invalid and never

married. She was still alive about 1920, living in England, but

there the trail ceases.

  1. Horace:

Your date of birth is incorrect, as I have it in Horace’s

own handwriting as August 23, 1857. He came to this country

perhaps ten years after Charles Edward Bateson, or about 1880, and

settled in St. Louis, Mo., where he married Sophie H. of that city

(born May 15, 1858). They had issue, but we know little of them.

Relations between the two families were, I am told, quite cool.

I have pictures of Horace at 18 and of him and his wife on his

fiftieth birthday.

8. “Polly” (Correct name and birthday unknown)

She was the youngest of Richard H. Bateson’s children

and was still living about 1918. She married Arthur Widdows

(Widows?), who was dead by about 1918, and had two sons, Manley

and “Jeff”. When last heard of, Manley, the elder, was a lawyer

in Oklahoma City. It seems that Arthur Widdows was at one point

an English Army major. In the late 1890’s they came to this

country and settled in Isle of Pines, Fla. I have a picture of

Polly in about 1878, and picture of her husband and two sons

when the latter were perhaps six to eight years old.


It was over six years ago that I started collecting

family information and trying to put it together, but then a

change in jobs put me off the project, unfortunately before much

was done about the Bateson side. There are, however, sources of

information, aside from you. First, there are, of course, the

Bateson papers mentioned in your June 1 letter. I had not


previously heard of these and would be must interested to know

more of them. It would be particularly interesting to have a

copy of the pedigree you mention. If you could give me the

address of the Society of Genealogist, I might try to get a copy

and make one available to you. The second source is Mrs. John H.

Bateson (Madeline), wife of Col. John (“Jack”) Holgate Bateson,

CMG, DSO, who died in 1956, and was, I believe, a cousin of our

grandfathers. After World War II, William Bateson Gaillard (who

an be located on the enclosed chart) became very interested in

the family and obtained much information from Jack. Sadly, most

of William’s records were prepared when he was in the last stages

of tuberculosis contracted in German prison camp, from which he

died, and his family has been reluctant to release the records

for fear of contamination. His brother, however, has indicated

he has available some of the information, and I am writing him

in this regard. I shall also write Jack’s widow, whose address

is 40 Yew Tree Road, Southborough, Tunbridge Wells, Kent. Any-

thing I learn will be passed on to you.

Since I hope we shall be corresponding further, a word

about myself. You will find me and my wife and children listed

at the very bottom of the enclosed chart. I graduated from

Harvard College in 1947, after a brief tour of duty as an Ensign

in the Pacific, and from Columbia University Law School in 1950.

I am now General Counsel of one of the larger chemical companies

in this country, Hooker Chemical Corporation, the address shown

above being that of the company’s headquarters. My home address,

and the one I suggest using, is 11 Edgehill Road, Glen Cover,

Long Island, N. Y. In recent years my picture-taking has produced

slides, and so I have no prints lying about. I am, however,

enclosing a snapshot taken by my sister’s husband on Thanksgiving

Day in 1963 at my house, howing (in back, left to right) my

sister, Mary Virginia Anstruther; my wife, Pamela; her brother,

Peter Marr; and (in front, left to right) my daughters, Robin and

Alison; and myself. The tartans draped over Robin and my wife

are bolts I had recently obtained in London. You may recognize

them as MacLachlan.


Should you pass through New York again, it would be a

great pleasure to put you up. It is a pity no one was available

when you visited in 1961.

I am sending copies of this letter to my mother and

Mrs. Bateson, to whom you wrote. Like you, I prefer to type

letters, in my case so that they will be legible.

Finally, by way of miscellaneous information, enclosed

is a copy of a 1952 newspaper article regarding the death of

Cmdr. C. H. Lightoller, said to be a cousin of our grandfather,

who was the last surviving officer of the Titanic. I know

nothing more of the relationship.


Cousin Douglas




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