Archive for May, 2015

Batesons United By Death: Thunderbolt 

May 30, 2015

I’ve never been to Thunderbolt. We’ve never had a reason before to go to Thunderbolt. Today, we’re having a little drive-by because we know that William Spears and William Ebbs lived and farmed in this area. 

The day is so perfect and crisp!  We weren’t looking for anything in particular, just seeing what the day has to offer. 

There are no farms here now. It’s rather geared towards boating. But while driving along the main road that parallels the river, one can imagine the area was ripe for farming. 

Enjoy the photos, and enjoy the day, while we imagine a little Bateson boy toiling on a farm.


Batesons United By Death: Basingers at Bonaventure 

May 29, 2015

Sugar and I are on a tour of Savannah with his Bateson cousins from Canada. Have I told you how we met them?

The blog, of course.

We’ve been to Laurel Grove Cemetery to visit the newly marked plot of the Christopher R. Bateson family, if you understand by “newly marked” that I mean last summer, because this plot was never marked for the any of the burials which occurred from 1853-1879. We also went to find the plot of William Ebbs, who was a guardian for the youngest Bateson child Thomas Remington Bateson after his parents Thomas and Martha Mann Bateson died. This plot is also unmarked.

Right now we’re in Bonaventure for a quick tour which always, always means we visit Sugar’s mother, grandmother, and great-grandparents at the Basinger plot.

 We know that William Epps and William Spears were affiliated with the Bateson family somehow. They were hucksters and vegetable sellers in the Thunderbolt area east of Savannah, so…

We’re off to Thunderbolt!

Batesons United by Death: On to Bonaventure!

May 27, 2015

Because Sugar and I are good citizens and try to be outstanding hosts, we take our guests to the cemetery.

If you are a new visitor to the blog, you might feel disinclined to read any more. The cemetery?

In an old city, like Savannah, there is great history and beauty in the cemetery. The foliage, the plantings, the grand trees, the view, and the memorials make for time well spent.

I don’t hang out in cemeteries in general. I go with Sugar to visit his people. When we took the Bonaventure cemetery tour, we were led into an area where we had never been. That’s right, even Sugar had never been there, and he’s been going to this cemetery for more than 50 years. It’s just that it’s a big cemetery, and our paths are small and sure. We had no reason to vary our path.

On this day, our paths are sure. We’re going to stop at Bonaventure with Sugar’s visiting Bateson cousins to visit Sugar’s people buried there.

It was on this trip that I thought I had found the spot where a photo was taken in the early 1900s. I wrote about that here. I’m pretty sure I’m right, and blog readers confirm that my eyes don’t deceive me.

A left-turn off the main lane takes us to the Basinger plot.

The guys are a little ways off from me, because I’ve been across the way taking photos of an entirely unrelated plot. Ah, distraction, how have I ever finished a single project in my entire life? (Purely rhetorical.)


I’m using both the digital camera and the iPhone for picture-taking enjoyment today, but at this point in time I don’t know how to blend the iPhone photos into the blog along with the camera photos. I *do* know how to write a blog post using just the iPhone photos, and can go into the post using the laptop to edit and add the camera photos that have been saved to the laptop. But I can’t figure out how to write a blog post on the laptop and add the iPhone photos after. Because I’m figuring out stuff as I go along.  There’s probably a tutorial out there that will resolve my issue, but clearly it’s not important enough for me to worry about that now.

We’ve got cemetery photos to view.

Which will be the next post,

Because they’re on the iPhone.

Batesons United by Death: William Ebbes a/k/a Another Mystery

May 27, 2015

Because we’re in Laurel Grove Cemetery in Savannah, Georgia, with Sugar’s Bateson cousins from Canada, we’re visiting the Bateson plot #322.


And because we know that there is some sort of connection with the Bateson family and William Ebbes and William Spears, we scout around to find the location of lot #1494, which is where William Ebbes should be buried. (We don’t know where William Spears is buried. At least, not yet.)

We find the plot…


No markers of any kind. Nothing.


You can see that the plot is surrounded by other marked plots. There’s the bushes on the left, the fencing along the back, and the curbing on the right.

From the back looking forward…, then from the front again.



And we are yet again confounded by another plot with no marker of any kind. Someone had enough money to purchase the plot, but let’s guess that by the time the plot was used, there was not money enough for a headstone.

What happened to these people?

Batesons United by Death: A Detour Through Laurel Grove

May 23, 2015

Sugar and I are in Laurel Grove Cemetery with his Bateson cousins from Canada.

We have visited the Bateson plot where Christopher Remington Bateson and his family are buried. This plot was unmarked since the earliest burial in 1853.

Which brings me to another point: The marker is a tad wrong. Sugar worried over what to say on the inscription for several weeks (months?) before finalizing. He asked me the dates of death, like I know something, and I popped off Christopher Remington Bateson’s date of death as 1855 and his grandson Thomas Bateson’s death as 1879. Which is all completely correct, but I forgot about the girls, Alice, age 8 3/4, and Mary Jane, age 12 hours, who both died in 1853. I know, I know, but I was suffering from that malady I have. The one where I can’t focus on what’s right in front of me. I can stare at it, like when you are looking for a book on a shelf, or a particular piece of paper in a stack, and I can’t find it. It’s just not there. But I’ll offer you something else to make up for my malady, like a pretty leaf. Or perhaps some chocolate, because it makes perfect sense to satisfy a completely different sense. Because chocolate.

Now, since Sugar and I received Walter’s comment on the blog about the names of Thomas and Martha Mann Bateson’s children, we know we’re looking for Alice (different Alice than above), Georgia Agnes (who I found out from a blog commenter that mother Martha had a sister named Georgia, and their mother was named Agnes), and Thomas Remington Bateson.

We had already found a good bit about Alice, and thanks to Walter, we found out *A LOT* about Georgia Agnes, because before he commented, we didn’t know her middle name. That’s right, folks, we should have been able to figure that out, but the name didn’t follow the traditional naming conventions.

Before the Canadian Batesons come to Savannah, we did a little more research on our own at the Georgia Historical Society, and we found the death announcement for little Thomas Remington Bateson.


As usual, an answer leads to more questions. In this case, who are William Spears and William Ebbes?

I had seen William Spears’s name as a guardian for a Bateson child, or perhaps children (because the record is not clear or I just can’t see what it’s saying even though it’s right in front of me), on a record for Thomas Bateson.

BatesonThomas1880 ChildrenOf

I really don’t know exactly the connection, but here’s a stab at it. Thomas the father and his brother Christopher Henry were in the Civil War in a Georgia unit. Perhaps they had a military association even though I can’t prove that.

I’ve copied and pasted from the website.

Thomas Bateson was a member of the following unit…

1st Regiment, Georgia Infantry (Olmstead’s)

OVERVIEW:1st (Mercer’s-Olmstead’s) Volunteers Infantry Regiment was organized prior to the war with militia companies from Savannah. Other members were from Quitman, and the counties of De Kalb, Oglethorpe, Washington, and Tattnall. After entering Confederate service it wsa disciplined at both heavy artillery and infantry. The regiment served on the coast with a detachment at Savannah and another at Charleston until May, 1864. It then was assigned to General Mercer’s Brigade and during the Atlanta Campaign, July 20 to September 1, reported 11 killed, 31 wounded, and 6 missing. Transferred to J.A. Smith’s command it continued the fight with Hood in Tennessee and on December 21, 1864, had only 52 men present for duty. Later it saw action at Bentonville and surrendered on April 26, 1865. The field officers were Colonel Hugh W. Mercer and Charles H. Olmstead, and Lieutenant Colonels Martin J. Ford and William S. Rockwell.
His service record:

Bateson , Thomas

NOTES:General Note – See also 63 Ga. Inf.
He was also in another unit with his brother Christopher Henry Bateson.

63rd Regiment, Georgia Infantry

OVERVIEW: 63rd Infantry Regiment was organized at Savannah, Georgia, in December, 1862, using the 13th Georgia Infantry Battalion as its nucleus. With more than 1,100 officers and men, the unit was assigned to the Departments of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. It served as infantry and heavy artillery at Thunderbolt and Rosedew Island, and Companies B and K were engaged at Battery Wagner near Charleston. Later the regiment was placed in General Mercer’s and J.A. Smith’s Brigade, Army of Tennessee. Now serving as infantry, it participated in the Atlanta Campaign, July 20 to September 1, this unit reported 10 killed, 61 wounded, and 39 missing and in December, 1864, totalled 143 effectives. Very few surrendered on April 26, 1865. The field officers were Colonel George A. Gordon, Lieutenant Colonel George R. Black, and Majors Joseph V.H. Allen and John R. Giles.
Thomas’s service record:

Bateson , Thomas

NOTES:General Note – See also 1 (Olmstead’s) Ga. Inf.
Christopher’s service record:

Bateson , Christopher H.

I find William Spears in the Savannah City Directories. In the earliest one that I can find, it’s 1874, he’s listed as a gardener, and he lives near the tollgate. Sugar doesn’t know where the tollgate was. Another question. He thinks it was probably on the east end of the city.
SpearsWilliam1874 Gardener
 Then I find William Spears in association with William Ebbs. They are hucksters in Stall 33. William Spears’s residence is in Thunderbolt, which is east of Savannah. Some of the listings say “Thunderbolt Road”, which could possibly mean simply the road “to” Thunderbolt, not “in” Thunderbolt.
Ebbs&Spears CityDirectory 1879 Spears&Ebbs CityDirectory 1879 Spears&Ebbs CityDirectory 1880
 We did a little homework before Walter and Audrey came to town. While we couldn’t find out what happened to William Spears, I located William Ebbs at Laurel Grove Cemetery. He’s in Lot 1494.
Now that we’ve paid our respects to the Christopher Remington Bateson family, we head over to visit with William Ebbs in Lot 1494.
Uh-oh. Here we go again.

Batesons United By Death: Camila Lends a Paw

May 21, 2015

Sugar’s little neighbor is Camila the Chihuahua. I’ve written about her before and how she will charge out of her yard to come to see us when we are standing in his driveway. 

Señorita Camila started traveling farther than next door to Sugar’s driveway. We were on the way back to his house after one of our outings, and I spotted a light brown squirrel just before you turn into his driveway. This lively little squirrel was on the grassy side of a two lane highway, but was not attempting to cross the road. Said squirrel appeared to be out and about, enjoying the day. 

I squeaked, “There’s Camila!”, and turned into Sugar’s driveway. 

Insert dilemma. We have to get her. What if she runs away from us, squirrel-like? Into The Road?! 

Sugar slipped out of the van and called to her, and she ran right to him. We took her home, and I explained to her family that it’s been 6 months since she got pregnant with her first litter, and that she was out looking for a boyfriend. (Or boyfriendS.)  I told them I would take her to fix that problem, and the woman agreed No More Babies. 

Surgery went well, and she is staying with me til she heals, but what to do about our Bateson visitors and ensuing excursions? We know that we’ll be gone for hours, so we’ll just take her with us. 

She stays in the crate in the van while we have our lunch. 

Then off to Laurel Grove Cemetery, where thoughtful thinkers think.


It would seem that Camila has joined the ranks of those who love family history.  

Batesons United By Death, Part 2: The Preparation

May 20, 2015

So Walter is coming to town.

We start corresponding by email, but Sugar and I have no idea what he looks like. We learn that he and his wife will be in town for a few days, and I get some time off from work. Because Batesons.

They’re coming in 3 weeks. *Gulp*


We worry and fret for three weeks until the day comes when we meet.

It was perfectly fine. Blog friends, it was fabulous.

We decided to all go for lunch, and Sugar suggested we go to a cafe which is on Congress, across from where the Christopher Remington Bateson family had their toy shop and residence.


And because we are so close to Christ Church, we circled the square and took a photo of the church where the Bateson family went to church. Thomas Bateson most probably met his future wife Martha Mann there.


Then it was time to travel to meet the Batesons at Laurel Grove Cemetery.


IMG_7735 IMG_7736

Can you tell that these fellows are related? They are almost exactly the same age, and look like they planned their wardrobe based on what the other was wearing.



Batesons United by Death

May 20, 2015

I’m not sure how to write this post.

There are many twists and turns. Everything is important. This post could go on for days.

I think I’ll just start throwing words out into the internet, and perhaps the story will evolve.


A woman in Brussels sent a message to me last year that she was interested in Charles Edward Wagstaff Bateson, a relative of hers who just happens to be Sugar’s great-grandfather. She further said that there are Batesons buried in Savannah.

We found the cemetery plot where the family of Christopher Remington Bateson was buried, and Sugar ordered a marker for the plot.

We found more references to the Bateson family.

And then, one random Sunday after Christmas, Sugar and I were on our way to lunch. Since PetSmart and Michael’s Craft Store (yarn on sale perhaps!) was on the way, we stopped first at PetSmart, then Michael’s, where I DIDN’T buy yarn.

When we left the craft store, my smartphone jingled in my pocket.

Sugar has a love/hate relationship with my phone. He loves how we can look something up SO easily. He hates dislikes strongly how it jingles to let me know there’s a new email or a blog comment or whatever it jingles for. I learned how to suppress the email jingles, and I learned how to tell the phone to not ring. Sometimes I forget to suppress the not-ringy part.

I pulled it out of my back pocket to give it a look anyway, even though Sugar was exhaling with exasperation. He’s needy like that.

Oooh, it was a comment on the blog! I love those.

But this one was confusing. It was from someone named Walter Bateson.

Sugar has a cousin named Walter, who has also commented on the blog, but he’s not Walter Bateson. In my confusion, I wondered if SugarCousinWalter had changed his last name.

That’s how things work with me. My brain compartmentalizes things, and it something doesn’t fit neatly into a compartment, I automatically look for a reason why it’s not neat. It can’t be helped.

So I stopped on the sidewalk, and said, “Sugar, it’s a comment from Walter Bateson.”

Sugar:  Who’s Walter Bateson?

YoursTruly: I don’t know. Is that your Cousin Walter changing his last name?

Sugar: Why would he do that?

I read the comment to him.

The Rev. Christopher Bateson is my great, great, great, Grandfather. I have been working on the family history for a number of years. Have a letter from Thomas Bateson, of Savannah,Ga. written to his uncle Henry in England on April 23,1873 on the business stationary
In this letter he says he has taken over the business from his father, and that he has three children,Alice, Georgia Agnes,and Thomas Remington.
I am trying to find out more about this branch of the family.I  am visiting in Florida his winter and am planning a trip to Savannah.
Any help you can give me would be appreciated
Walter Bateson

So now we’re standing on the sidewalk outside Michael’s Craft store and PetSmart, staring at the iPhone, then to each other, then to the iPhone.

A letter? A LETTER?! From 1873 on business stationary? We can’t wait to meet Walter Bateson!

Because Thomas Bateson is buried in the Christopher R. Bateson plot in Laurel Grove Cemetery in Savannah, Georgia. Remember? Ah, yes, the plot that was unmarked until Sugar came along.


300 Years Later – A Visit by the Earl and Countess of Shaftesbury

May 14, 2015

The Lord Ashley Site

Nick and Dinah Ashley- Cooper, the Earl and Countess of Shaftesbury toured the Lord Ashley archaeological site this spring  with historians and archaeologists from Historic Charleston Foundation, The Charleston Museum, and Charles Towne Landing. 2015-03-12 12.18.542015-03-12 13.00.49

This was the first visit to the site by a member of the Ashley-Cooper Family.  While Nick is the 12th earl, his ancestor Lord Anthony Ashley Cooper, was the first Earl of Shaftesbury (1621-1683), and was the leader of the Lords Proprietors of Carolina. The first earl had intended to visit his 12,000 acre plantation on the upper reaches of the Ashley River, however, he never made it to the Carolina colony.

During this recent visit, the couple got an overview of the history of the site, inspected some of the artifacts that have come from the several archaeological field schools and toured the site itself.  They were very impressed by the story of the site and all…

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More Erector Fun

May 14, 2015

My little car might just pop a tire. 

Now to start unloading…